Industry Updates

Global markets soar on coronavirus vaccine breakthrough

FTSE 100 up 5.8% following the news

Tom Eckett

a close-up of a person

Global stock markets have gone pop today following news drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech have successfully tested a coronavirus vaccine paving the way for economies to return to normality.

The firms said the vaccine is 90% effective in protecting people from COVID-19 meaning the end of the pandemic could be in sight.

Global stock markets have soared to record-breaking levels in response to the news with the MSCI All Country World index jumping 1% to reach another record high. Europe's largest ETF offering exposure to global stocks, the $26.7bn iShares Core MSCI World ETF (SWDA), is up 3.9%.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 is up 5.8% to 6,250 points by mid-afternoon trading while the Euro Stoxx has surged a massive 7% to 3,429 points.

In particular, FTSE 100 events company Informa is up 25.3% to 573 points while British Airways owner International Airlines Group jumped 39%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has jumped 3.7% to 3,638 points on open while the Dow Jones is up 4.7% to 1,320 points.

In Japan, markets rose to a 29-year high on the back of Joe Biden’s US presidential election victory with the Nikkei 225 reaching 24,839 points by close on Monday, a level not seen since October 1991.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said the vaccine news has acted as a “shot of adrenaline” for markets on top of the positive response to Biden’s election victory.

“A successful vaccine has greater significance than Joe Biden winning the US election as it would effectively pave the way to restarting economic growth globally,” Mould continued.

“In effect, we might be witnessing a massive rotation from growth to value, although the great unknown is whether this is sustainable. Value as an investment style has struggled for the past decade and over this period history showed that as soon as it got its moment in the sun, the style quickly lost momentum.”

However, Nigel Green, CEO and founder of deVere Group, warned the market reaction to the vaccine was somewhat premature.

“The vaccine development reports are, obviously, an important step in the right direction,” Green said. “However, I suspect the markets – which are already in a bullish mood due to the incoming Biden administration – are overthinking the positive vaccine news.”