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Global stock markets rallied on Tuesday on promising results from two clinical coronavirus vaccine trials, and after EU leaders finally clinched a landmark 750-billion-euro ($860-billion) stimulus deal.
“A combination of vaccine optimism and fiscal stimulus is boosting the mood,” City Index analyst Fiona Cincotta said.
“Encouraging results ... in addition to EU leaders agreeing to a 750-billion-euro recovery fund, is overshadowing rising tension between the UK and China -- and soaring COVID-19 numbers in California.”
The clinical studies provided a much-needed shot in the arm for investors, who have been put on edge by worrying spikes in new infections around the world, causing a months-long surge across equities to stumble.
The new cases have forced authorities to reimpose containment measures, fanning concerns about an economic recovery that has been supported by trillions of dollars in government and central bank stimulus measures.
But two studies published in The Lancet medical journal sparked some cheer, with a trial among more than 1,000 adults in Britain finding a candidate vaccine induced “strong antibody and T cell immune responses” against the coronavirus.
That came as another trial of more than 500 people in China showed most had developed a widespread antibody immune response.
Meanwhile, British biotech firm Synairgen said a randomised trial of an aerosol-based treatment showed it could drastically reduce the number of new patients dying of the disease or requiring intensive care. More than 20 candidate vaccines are currently being tested on humans.
The European Union finally reached a stimulus agreement after four days of haggling.
“Deal!” tweeted EU Council Chief Charles Michel, whose job was to guide the talks over more than 90 hours.
The package sends tens of billions of euros to countries hardest hit by the virus, most notably heavily-indebted Spain and Italy that had lobbied hard for a major gesture from their EU partners.
Focus now turns to lawmakers in Washington who are looking to pass a huge new stimulus package, with a previous multi-trillion-dollar one set to expire at the end of the month.
Key figures around 1345 GMT
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 6,285.41 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.4 percent at 13,230.22
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.8 percent at 5,134.18
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.1 percent at 3,42490
New York - Dow: UP 0.9 percent at 26,918.85
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 percent at 22,884.22 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 2.3 percent at 25,635.66 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 3,320.89 (close)
West Texas Intermediate: UP 3.4 percent at $42.31 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.2 percent at $44.68
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1443 from $1.1448 at 2100 GMT
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.07 yen from 107.27 yen
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2688 from $1.2661
Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.16 pence from 90.41
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