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Moderna vaccine news sends stocks higher, Dow nears 30,000

Major stock markets surged higher Monday—with the Dow closing in on 30,000 points—after an announcement a second COVID-19 vaccine is proving effective in trials, sparking fresh hope of a return to normality, dealers said.

In new breakthrough, Moderna's COVID vaccine nearly 95% effectiv
US biotech firm Moderna on November 16, 2020 announced its experimental vaccine against Covid-19 was 94.5 percent effective, marking a second major breakthrough in the vaccine hunt. AFP
Moderna said experimental Covid-19 vaccine was shown to be 94.5 percent effective according to early trial results, which followed an announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech last week that their vaccine was 90 percent effective.

"US stocks raced higher on Moderna’s upbeat vaccine news, which along with Pfizer’s vaccine raise expectations for a return to pre-pandemic life before next winter," said market analyst Edward Moya at OANDA currency trading platform.

The Dow was up 1.5 percent in late morning exchanges, hitting a record level of 29,942.88 and bearing down on 30,000 points.

European equities also accelerated gains on the news. Both London and Paris climbed 1.7 percent while Frankfurt ended the day 0.7 percent higher.

'End of nightmare'?

"Just as their initial dose of vaccine bullishness appeared to be waning, the markets got another injection of good news this Monday," Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell told AFP.

"As with Pfizer, there is still a way to go before Moderna's vaccine is approved. However, investors were only thinking about the long-term, flashing forward to the end of this nightmare."

World oil prices soared by more than 3 percent as the Moderna news stoked hopes of a recovery in energy demand, just as many countries are tightening restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stock markets were already staging a rally on bright economic data and a pledge by US President-elect Joe Biden's team not to impose an economically damaging nationwide lockdown to contain the virus, which has now infected more than 11 million Americans

In addition, traders cheered the signing of the world's biggest free-trade deal by 15 Asia-Pacific countries -- including Japan and China -- that covers about a third of the world's gross domestic product.

"The recent growth points towards the fact that Asia is now well and truly on the path to recovery, with China in particular, showing great resilience as Beijing revealed its factory output had risen faster than expected," said Sun Global Investments head Mihir Kapadia.

In Asia, Tokyo jumped more than two percent on news that the world's third biggest economy had surged out of recession in the third quarter, growing by a forecast-beating five percent owing to a pick-up in domestic demand and exports.

Key figures around 1630 GMT

New York - Dow: UP 1.5 percent at 29,930.68 points

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.7 percent at 6,421.29 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.7 percent at 13,138.61 (close) 

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.7 percent at 5,471.48 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.2 percent at 3,472.46

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.1 percent at 25,906.93 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 26,381.67 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.1 percent at 3,346.97 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1842 from $1.1834 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3198 from $1.3189

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 104.56 yen from 104.63 yen

Euro/pound: DOWN at 89.71 pence from 89.73 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 3.3 percent at $41.46 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.1 percent at $44.09 per barrel

Topics: stock markets , Joe Biden , COVID-19 , vaccine , Moderna , Connor Campbell
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