Global Stocks Shoot Up as Vaccine Progress, Joe Biden Transition Boost Confidence

Marco Green
November 24, 2020

President Donald Trump tweeted that he had told his team "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols", an indication he was moving toward a transition after weeks of legal challenges to the election results.

In company news, shares of drugmaker Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc rose 0.5% after the FDA on Saturday granted emergency use authorization to its COVID-19 antibody therapy.

Energy companies notched among the biggest gains in the S&P 500 as the positive vaccine news stoked optimism about more demand for oil, sending the price of US crude 1.6% higher. South Korea's Kospi added 0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.5% and stocks in Shanghai added 0.2%.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week that key pandemic lending programs at the Federal Reserve would expire on December 31, putting the outgoing Trump administration at odds with the central bank and potentially adding stress to the economy.

The latest vaccine developments are also helping to raise hopes that some normalcy will eventually be restored to everyday life and the economy.

"Investors continue to embrace and see the optimism in the development of vaccines, providing light at the end of the tunnel and multiple choices on how to get there", said Adam Taback, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank.

The S&P 500 rose 20.05 points to 3,577.59. The benchmark index, which climbed to an all-time high a week ago, recouped almost three-fourths of its decline from last week. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 25.66 points, or 0.22 percent, to 11,880.63.

The S&P 500 continues to trade within a roughly 3543-3583 range. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks outpaced the broader market and jumped 1.9% in another signal that investors were feeling confident.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year notes rose slightly to 0.8701 per cent.

Numerous companies making gains would greatly benefit from a vaccine allowing people to travel, shop and dine out. JPMorgan Chase rose 2.4%.

AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than its rivals, could be as much as 90% effective.

Investors awaited United States economic growth data due out Wednesday after Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week down as rising infection numbers collided with hopes for a possible vaccine. They will reopen on Friday for a half-day session.

"This means we have a vaccine for the world", said Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford University vaccine group that developed the drug.

Earlier this month, US drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna announced that their respective coronavirus vaccine candidates were around 95 percent effective. And, over the weekend, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals received USA government approval for emergency use of its COVID-19 treatment.

Monday's US Markit PMI release was different, however, triggering a very large market reaction, particularly in FX markets; given how strong the data itself was, as well as the fact that it showed US inflation starting to shoot up in November, USD has seen a stunning rally, with the Dollar Index jumping from around 92.00 to above 92.50.

West Texas Intermediate crude gained 71 cents, or 1.67%, to $43.13 a barrel, in line with the gains in Brent crude futures. Brent crude, used to price global oils, added 53 cents to $45.49 per barrel in London.

In currency trading, the USA dollar edged up to 104.38 Japanese yen from 103.72.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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