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World markets mostly higher on hopes for coronavirus vaccine

Focus was on news scientists soon will begin a 30,000-person study of the experimental vaccine developed by Moderna.

July 15, 2020   by ASSOCIATED PRESS

PARIS — Shares rose in global markets July 15 as investors took heart from news that an experimental COVID-19 vaccine had revved up people’s immune systems just as desired.

Benchmarks rose in Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo and US futures also saw sold gains, suggesting a rise on the open on Wall Street.

The focus was on news that scientists soon will begin a 30,000-person study to see if the experimental vaccine developed by Moderna and the US National Institutes of Health is strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.

Upbeat corporate earnings were helping support markets, “But the cherry on top has to be the positive virus vaccine update as optimism on the vaccine is more than a show stopper. It’s the ultimate recession stopper,” Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary.

“The positive coverage on a potential COVID-19 vaccine represents a rotating carousel of positive news that is overwhelming rising virus cases in the US,” he said.

Germany’s DAX climbed 1.8% to 12,924 while the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 2.4% to 5,127. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 2% to 6,302. The future for the S&P 500 gained 1.3% while that for the Dow industrials rose 1.9%.

News about the vaccine came after the end of trading for US markets on July 14.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.6% to 22,945.50 after the Bank of Japan kept its ultra-easy monetary stance unchanged as it wrapped up a policy meeting. It forecast that the economy would improve later in the year, assuming there is no major “second wave” of outbreaks of the new coronavirus.

But the central bank acknowledged very high uncertainty over the outlook for the world’s third largest economy. The bank’s growth forecast for the year was downgraded to minus 5.7%-minus 4.5% from the earlier forecast of minus 5%-minus 3%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was nearly unchanged at 25,481.58, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 1.6% to 3,361.30 after President Donald Trump signed a bill and executive order that he says will hold China accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of Hong Kong.

The legislation and order are part of an escalating diplomatic offensive against China that is adding to chronic tensions over trade and other issues.

 


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