Global stocks eyed a fresh record high on Monday as signs of economic recovery in Asia, strong corporate earnings, and additional positive data about a Covid-19 vaccine boosted investor sentiment. Moderna Inc's experimental vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, the company said on Monday, becoming the second US drugmaker to report results that far exceed expectations.
Wall Street opened higher on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 374.49 points, or 1.27 per cent, as of 8:58 pm (IST), to 29,854.30. The S&P 500 opened higher by 34.32 points, or 0.96 per cent to 3,619.47.
That news helped the MSCI World Index of global shares to extend gains, rising by 0.6 per cent to just shy of a record high hit briefly this month, building on strong overnight gains in Asia's leading markets and a stronger open for most European bourses.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares (outside Japan) hit its highest level since launching in 1987, as Japan pulled out of recession, China posted better-than-expected industrial output data, and the region signed the largest-ever trade deal.
Taking their lead, European indices also hovered near 9-month highs following the Moderna development, with Britain’s FTSE 100 up 1.86 per cent and the pan-Europe STOXX Europe 600 up 1.64 per cent. “The markets get the new trading week off to a solid start, which is encouraging given all the excitement generated in the last seven days by news of vaccine breakthroughs,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
“Solid and steady gains are arguably just what investors need after a very volatile period.” The announcement by Moderna followed similarly positive news a week ago from rival Pfizer. Still, concerns about a sustainable economic recovery persist amid a flare-up in virus cases around the world. The pandemic continues to escalate in Europe and the US coronavirus cases have topped 11 million. Germany must live with “considerable restrictions” against the spread of Covid-19 for at least the next four to five months, its minister said.
Treasury yields climbed and the dollar slipped. Crude pushed higher as the vaccine news boosted the outlook for demand. China’s oil processing rebounded in October to match a record, as consumption in Asia continues to vastly outpace that of regions still afflicted with the virus.
Elsewhere, European equities rose, following Asian shares higher after a slew of countries Sunday signed the world’s largest regional free-trade agreement.