Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that their coronavirus vaccine was 90% effective in tests, which has caused global shares to surge.
The drug companies have said that the vaccine was “found to be more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 in participants without evidence of prior Sars-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.”
The FTSE 100 surged 5.5% to 6,242 points – its highest levels since August, as investors are reassured that the economy will soon return to normal.
The blue-chip index already started off the week to a positive start after Joe Biden won the Presidential election. It continued to soar after the drug companies made the announcement at midday.
Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Europe, commented on how the vaccine news has bumped up global markets:
“With Covid wreaking havoc across Europe and the US once again, the Pfizer announcement has provided the lift we’ve all craved. The company announced that the Pfizer, BioNTech experimental vaccine is over 90% effective in preventing Covid-19, sending US future sky rocketing.
“This is the news we’ve all been waiting for. The company plans to use emergency use authorization after the safety milestone is reached in late November, with no serious safety concerns having been identified in the interim analysis. Pfizer will then be able to produce 50 million doses in 2020.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and hopefully others will soon join Pfizer and BioNTech and enable us to break this vicious cycle of lockdowns and cautious reopenings that’s killing businesses, causing rising unemployment and massively adding to the debt load around the world.
“This is the light at the end of the tunnel moment and just look at the reaction in the markets. One of incredible relief,” he added.
On the FTSE 100, International Airlines Group saw shares climb 39%, Rolls-Royce surged 33%, whilst events company Informa soared 44%.
Adam Vettese, analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro, said:
“The vaccine news has injected optimism into travel stocks in particular. The sector has been among the hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions and EasyJet and IAG moved strongly on the back of the announcement. Oil stocks jumped too as any sign of a recovery in the travel sector would stimulate demand.
“However, while this is obviously a positive step forward there is still a way to go. Pfizer will only be able to submit its vaccine for emergency use once two months of data has been collected. All eyes will be on the third week of November then as we wait to see if the numbers show the vaccine can be approved.”
Whilst there has been a surge in many travel and events companies, not all shares have seen a growth. Shares in zoom crashed 12% to $460 on Monday during pre-trading after seeing shares rise from $70 in February to over $560 over the last nine months during the pandemic.
Just Eat and Ocado, which have also been winners amid the pandemic, saw shares fall 11% and 7% respectively.
Shares on Wall Street also surged on opening. S&P 500 futures rose by 3.78%, and Dow contracts increased 4.69%
In Europe, Germany’s DAX index up 5.8% and France’s CAC gaining around 7%.
Andrea Cicione, Head of Strategy at TS Lombard, said: “This is very very important (news) because it validates the market view that the economy and earnings can receive that growth path that they had before the (COVID-19) crisis struck.”
The price of oil also surged by 8% and is now $42.64 per barrel.