Stock markets rise on Covid vaccine results

Globe with digital tablet, laptop and smartphone showing international markets.
Globe with digital tablet, laptop and smartphone showing international markets.
Andrew Brookes

Global equities rose Monday following mixed Covid vaccine results, while investors also digested gloomy economic data that could herald another virus-driven downturn, dealers said.

British drugs group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford announced that their jointly-developed vaccine has shown an average 70% effectiveness in trials involving 23 000 people.

The results ranged between 62% and 90% efficacy depending on the vaccine dosage.

The announcement comes after other trials of drugs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna announced effectiveness above 90%.

Nearing midday in London, the capital's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.3%, while AstraZeneca's share price dipped 1.5% to 81.91.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt gained 0.6% and Paris won 0.4%.

The British pound rebounded on reports that Brussels and London were set to unveil a long-awaited post-Brexit trade deal.

The dollar faltered amid a lack of movement on agreeing to a massive US stimulus package.

"The results of AstraZeneca and Oxford University's Covid-19 vaccine trial result failed to trigger a major rally in equities with the 70% efficacy result perhaps disappointing in comparison to the results from Pfizer and Moderna," said AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould.

"In relative terms, one can understand why AstraZeneca's result only triggered a shrug of the shoulders from investors.

"However, a 70% result is still positive for helping society return to normal and there are significant cost and storage benefits with the AstraZeneca jab."

Monday's news came after Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech applied for emergency use authorisation for their drug, which could be rolled out next month.

Moderna is expected to make its own application soon.

The need for an inoculation has been made stark by soaring infection and death rates in the US and elsewhere as the northern hemisphere heads into winter, when viruses usually spread more.

Some US states have started imposing new restrictions, while several European countries including England and France have returned to lockdowns.

Europe's equity gains were dented also by key surveys showing economic activity plunged in November on fresh lockdowns aimed at curbing the second wave of coronavirus - indicating a quick return to recession.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
ZAR/USD
14.95
(+1.21)
ZAR/GBP
20.36
(+1.04)
ZAR/EUR
18.13
(+0.87)
ZAR/AUD
11.53
(+0.92)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+1.55)
Gold
1836.13
(+0.01)
Silver
25.10
(+0.60)
Platinum
1097.50
(+1.06)
Brent Crude
54.74
(-0.64)
Palladium
2381.50
(+0.89)
All Share
63887.65
(+0.27)
Top 40
58647.50
(+0.17)
Financial 15
11959.32
(+0.46)
Industrial 25
85605.39
(+0.93)
Resource 10
62707.54
(-0.81)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 682 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 1707 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 910 votes
Vote