Stocks Open Higher on Wall Street on Latest Vaccine Hopes

Stocks Open Higher on Wall Street on Latest Vaccine Hopes

World stocks and Wall Street futures rose Monday after more good news on potential vaccines but unease about anti-coronavirus restrictions on businesses.

AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective. The U.K.-Swedish company is the third major drug maker to report late-stage results for a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Unlike rival candidates, however, AstraZeneca’s doesn’t have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, making it easier to distribute.

That helped ease some investor concerns about decisions to reimpose anti-virus controls in the United States, Europe and some Asian countries that threaten to hamper retail spending, travel and other business activity.

In Europe, the DAX in Frankfurt added 0.5% to 13,200 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.4% to 5,517 after a survey of business activity showed a decline in November in the eurozone. The so-called PMI dropped to 45.1 points in November, below the 50 mark that separates economic contraction from expansion. The reading reflects the hit to businesses from lockdowns across the 19-country eurozone.

The FTSE 100 in London was flat at 6,349 after a similar survey also dropped, though not as sharply.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up 0.5%. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.6% higher.

Investors awaited U.S. economic growth data due out Wednesday after Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week down as rising infection numbers collided with hopes for a possible vaccine. Also Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve is to report on its latest meeting, though no surprises are expected.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.1% to 3,414.49 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was 0.1% higher at 26,486.20.

The Kospi in Seoul jumped 1.9% to 2,602.59 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3% to 6,561.60.

India’s Sensex advanced 0.5% to 44,112.67. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also gained.

Investors are monitoring the prospects for more economic aid in the U.S., where last week Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was withdrawing emergency loan programs for small businesses. Congress is deadlocked on an aid plan to replace supplemental unemployment benefits that supported consumer spending and expired months ago.

Meanwhile, court decisions have rejected most of President Donald Trump’s challenges of results of the Nov. 3 election. Trump has fueled market jitters by refusing to concede or to brief Joe Biden’s team on national security and anti-virus work.

Analysts at Mizuho Bank said in a report that blocking Biden’s transition team from briefings “means that precious time is stolen from tackling a resurgent health crisis that will extract an economic toll.”

Mnuchin’s decision to withdraw emergency loan money, over the Fed’s opposition, undercut the central bank’s ability to support a recovery, Mizuho Bank said.

“The Fed’s policy has been unnecessarily and prematurely denied the Treasury’s backing,” the bank said.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 41 cents to $42.83 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 53 cents to $45.49 per barrel in London.

The dollar declined to 103.72 yen from Friday’s 103.84 yen. The euro gained to $1.1905 from $1.1858.

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