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FTSE soars with another dose of positive vaccine news

Written by: Emma Lunn
There could be light at the end of the tunnel for investors as a second vaccine is found to be highly effective at preventing coronavirus.

The Moderna vaccine has been found to have 94.5% efficacy in an analysis of late-stage trials, while interim results suggest the vaccine may also block severe cases of Covid-19.

The announcement comes just a week after the Pfizer vaccine was found to be more than 90% effective.

But unlike the Pfizer vaccine which requires ultracold freezing between -70C and -80C from production facility to patient, the Moderna vaccine can be stored at standard refrigeration temperatures of 2C to 8C for 30 days.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Already aviation and hospitality stocks had been on the front foot today basking in the relief of the Pfizer breakthrough but the news from Moderna indicating its vaccine is almost 95% effective, and may pose fewer logistical issues, sent share prices sharply higher.

“This is early data and the Moderna vaccine isn’t likely to be approved for at least another few weeks but the announcement adds to the confidence washing through the financial markets.”

The announcement has had a dramatic effect on the share price of companies worst hit by the pandemic. The share price of British Airways owner IAG was up by more than 11% and aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce rose by about 10% on hopes of recovery for the global travel industry.

Premier Inn owner Whitbread also climbed by around 8% and pub chain JD Wetherspoon by more than 5% as investors forecast that the lockdowns depressing trade could be more limited.

Looking at the effect on US stock markets, Ulas Akincilar, head of trading at the online trading platform Infinox, said: “Last week’s Biden / vaccine double-whammy powered the S&P 500 to a record close on Friday, and it is now set to pick up where it left off.

“With another US-led vaccine trial reporting incredibly encouraging results, the markets are daring to hope that the tide will soon turn against Covid.

“These are preliminary results and no one vaccine will be a silver bullet. But get a magazine full of bullets and the war can be won. With the US infection rate and death toll still rising at truly horrific speed, the vaccine rollout can’t come soon enough.”

Ayush Ansal, chief investment officer at hedge fund Crimson Black Capital, said: “News of a second highly successful vaccine will be another metaphorical shot in the arm for markets globally.

“The FTSE 100 was up immediately when news of the early results from the Moderna tests came in and the feel-good factor created by Pfizer’s vaccine should further rally markets in the days ahead.”

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