Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Stock markets are heading higher this morning after AstraZeneca announced that its Covid-19 vaccine is effective in preventing infection from the virus.
The pharmaceuticals firm reported that trials of its vaccine developed by Oxford University showed it can be 90% effective in giving immunity to Covid-19.
AstraZeneca reports that AZD1222 showed 90% efficacy when given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart.
Another regime, two doses at least a month apart, showed 62% efficacy – giving an average efficacy of 70%.
That follows the encouraging results from Pfizer and Moderna earlier this month, who both reported 95% efficacy, and should further boost hopes of a solid economic recovery in 2021.
AstraZeneca also reports that no serious safety events were recorded during the trial. It now plans to immediately prepare regulatory submission of the data to authorities around the world that have a framework in place for conditional or early approval.
It will also seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries.
The half dose/full dose result, of 90% efficacy, is the most exciting, as Professor Andrew Pollard, Chief Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, explains:
These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives. Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90% effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.
Today’s announcement is only possible thanks to the many volunteers in our trial, and the hard working and talented team of researchers based around the world.”
The news is expected to push European stock markets higher, with the FTSE 100 expected to gain around 0.5% — back to last week’s five-month highs.
Also coming up this morning.
New economic surveys from the UK and eurozone will highlight the sharp impact of the latest Covid-19 lockdowns, and underline just why effective vaccines are needed.
Data firm IHS Markit’s latest Purchasing Manager surveys are expected to show that UK private sector activity is contracting this month, due to the closure of hospitality venues, non-essential shops and leisure activities.
The UK Services PMI is forecast to fall to just 42.5, showing a rapid downturn, from October’s 51.4 which showed modest grwoth.
France’s ‘flash’ PMI will also likely show that its economy is shrinking again this month [forecast to drop to 34, from 47.5] That could pull the wider eurozone into contraction this month, after it stagnated in October.
- 8.15am GMT: French flash manufacturing and services PMI for November
- 8.30am GMT: German flash manufacturing and services PMI for November
- 9am GMT: Eurozone flash manufacturing and services PMI for November
- 9.30am GMT: UK flash manufacturing and services PMI for November
- 1.30pm GMT: Chicago Fed National Activity index
- 2.45pm GMT: US flash manufacturing and services PMI for November