Vaccine hopes and upbeat earnings power European shares

Heavyweight CRH and Smurfit Kappa are the big gainers in Dublin

Pfizer said it could file for US authorisation of a  Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech as early as November

Pfizer said it could file for US authorisation of a Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech as early as November

 

European shares bounced on Friday on hopes that a vaccine for coronavirus could be available in the US before the end of the year, with a clutch of upbeat quarterly earnings also lifting sentiment after a torrid week.

Pfizer said it could file for US authorisation of a Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech as early as November.

DUBLIN

The Iseq underperformed versus other European indices on Friday, closing up 0.3 per cent.

Heavyweight CRH was one of the star performers, up 2.3 per cent. Box-maker Smurfit Kappa was another big gainer, rising 3.9 per cent.

The banks dragged the index lower, however, with Bank of Ireland down1.5 per cent , and AIB losing 1.1 per cent.

Other movers in Dublin included insurer FBD, which was 2.4 per cent higher, and Ryanair, down 1 per cent.

LONDON

The FTSE 100 snapped a four-day losing streak after an upbeat coronavirus vaccine update from Pfizer and signs Brexit talks might continue until the year end for a possible trade deal with the EU.

The blue-chip index closed up 1.5 per cent, led by pharmaceutical, aero, bank and insurance stocks. However, the FTSE 100 and the mid-cap index logged their first weekly declines in three weeks on concerns that the new tiered coronavirus restrictions across parts of England would derail a nascent economic recovery.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 index ended 0.1 per cent lower as J D Wetherspoon tumbled 19.4 per cent after the pub operator posted an annual loss and announced job cuts as it called for “sensible” government measures to contain the health crisis.

Jupiter Fund Management shed 3.3 per cent after the asset manager suffered £1 billion in net outflows in the third quarter.

Shares of oil major BP rose 1.4 per cent after falling to their lowest level since 1995 in the previous session.

EUROPE

News of a Covid vaccine powered global stock markets and helped lift the pan-European STOXX 600 by 1.3 per cent in its best session in nearly three weeks.

The benchmark stock index nevertheless ended Friday with its first weekly decline in three as a resurgence in coronavirus cases across Europe stoked fears about more sweeping lockdowns. London and Paris, Europe’s two richest cities, are again living under the shadow of state-imposed restrictions.

In company news, Thyssenkrupp surged 10.8 per cent as Liberty Steel, founded by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, said it had made a non-binding offer for the company’s steel unit.

LVMH jumped 7.3 per cent as recovering sales of Louis Vuitton handbags helped it contain the fallout from the coronavirus crisis in the third quarter.

Daimler surged 5.5 per cent after the luxury carmaker posted forecast-beating third-quarter results. Volvo was 3.3 per cent higher after also recording stronger-than-expected results.

NEW YORK

Wall Street bounced back after three straight days of losses, following a positive update from Pfizer on development of its Covid-19 vaccine and on data that showed stronger-than-expected retail sales growth last month.

The drugmaker’s shares firmed 2.4 per cent as it expects to provide safety data and file for authorisation of the vaccine it is developing with Germany’s BioNTech , as soon as a safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November. BioNTech’s US-listed shares jumped 1.8 per cent.

Kansas City Southern shed 2.3 per cent as the railroad operator’s quarterly revenue missed estimates, while transportation and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services tumbled 8.1 per cent after it missed profit estimates.

Schlumberger slid 7.1 per cent after the top oilfield services provider reported a third straight quarterly loss.

– Additional reporting: Reuters