November 24, 2020

FTSE Pfizer fever continues as redundancies hit new record – latest updates –

Good morning. Markets have cooled somewhat overnight, with Asian markets making a muted close as yesterday’s vaccine rally lost legs.

Coming up at 7am we have the latest data on the UK’s labour market, covering unemployment over the three months to September, and more timely data on payrolls and vacancies.

5 things to start your day 

1) FTSE has best day since March as Pfizer sends markets soaring: London rocketed 4.7pc higher in its best day since March, adding £70bn to the value of Britain’s blue-chip companies after Pfizer’s vaccine news.

2) Government to spend £42bn on private testing contracts: Filings show Public Health England put a £22bn contract out to tender last week, and the NHS has already awarded a £20bn deal.

3) New lockdown ruins October boost for retail: Firms face a challenging month after non-essential shops were widely forced to shut and Britons are told to stay at home, reversing a recovery.

4) What Pfizer’s vaccine means for Big Pharma: The vaccine may well prove to be one of the most significant advances in decades, on par with Neil Armstrong’s moon landing.

5) Hargreaves and AJ Bell buckle as investors rush to buy: Customers of two of Britain’s largest fund shop couldn’t trade due to demand overwhelming the websites and apps as the FTSE All-Share rose.

What happened overnight 

Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday following news that a vaccine candidate had been 90 percent effective in treating patients, fuelling hopes it could begin to be rolled out this year and bring an end to a pandemic that has battered the world economy.

Wall Street and European shares soared with oil prices while safe-haven assets tumbled Monday when US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech announced results of their Phase 3 trial.

The news provided a massive boost to investors who were already in a strong buying mood after Joe Biden’s US election win at the weekend removed a large amount of uncertainty from trading floors.

Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Jakarta all rose more than one percent, while Singapore and Manila surged more than three percent. There were also more modest gains in Seoul, Shanghai and Wellington. But as the session wore on, gains faded.

Coming up today

Corporate: Electrocomponents, Land Securities, Oxford Instruments, Premier Foods (Interim results); Direct Line Insurance, Meggitt, Persimmon, Signature Aviation (Trading statements)

Economics: Unemployment, average earnings (UK); inflation (China); ZEW surveys (Germany); industrial production (France and Italy)