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FTSE 100 higher as vaccine continues to provide shot in the arm for London stocks. Rolls Royce roars


The FTSE 100 made a solidly positive start to proceedings, building on the significant gains made Monday following the unveiling of an effective coronavirus vaccine,

Opening above 6,000 for the first time in almost a month, the index of blue-chips defied the profit-takers as Covid-affected stocks such as Rolls Royce (LON:RR.), up a further 15%, and IAG, flying 5% higher, led the early charge.

On the FTSE 250, the relief rally continued for Cineworld, up a further 12%, and tour operator TUI (LON:TUI), ahead 7%.

Vaccines euphoria overshadowed some dark economic news from a weaker than expected jobs market, where the unemployment rate hit 4.8% last month.

“The latest labour market report is weaker overall, with a significant rise in the number of people without jobs and record redundancies,” said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the influential EY ITEM Club.

“This suggests that that the original October end-date for the furlough scheme was prompting employers to make decisions about their workforces.”

6.44 am: FTSE 100 called lower by the spread betting firms 

The FTSE 100 has been tipped to give up a chunk of its gains from the start of the week as the initial shot in the arm from the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine news wears off quickly.  

London’s blue-chip index is seen falling 88 points or 1.4% on Tuesday, according to the IG spread-betting platform, after adding 276 points or 4.7% to 6,186.3 the day before.

Wall Street had a mixed time overnight, with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 up 2.95% and 1.2% but the Nasdaq Composite falling 1.5% as eight of the top ten tech giants saw billions knocked off their valuations.

Asian stocks are mostly higher this morning as they missed out on the vaccine bounce yesterday, with the Hang Seng and and Nikkei up slightly but the Shanghai composite in the red.

“The new record highs for the Dow, S&P500 and Russell 2000 certainly point to a much greater sense of optimism than at any other time this year, however it still doesn’t hurt to exercise a degree of caution, at a time of still highly elevated levels of uncertainty,” said market analyst David Madden at CMC.

“The results of the Pfizer study are certainly welcome news, a 90% success rate is certainly well above expectations, and as such is a very much needed beacon of light in what has been a dark year for the global economy, however, one swallow does not make a summer, and there still remains a some way to go before life as we knew it a year ago, can return to any semblance of normal, in the short or medium term.

“Not only do we have the small matter of trying to navigate the current problems the virus is causing in terms of new lockdowns, the vaccine trial data still needs to be parsed, and as WHO Special Envoy David Nabarro stated yesterday, last stage assessments will still be key in determining whether the vaccine obtains final approval.”

Around the markets

Pound is up 0.1% at US$1.3178

Gold is up 1% at US$1,885.14 after falling 3.8% yesterday

Brent Crude Oil up 5.7% to US$41.96

6.45 am: Early Markets: Asia / Australia

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher as investors reacted to positive developments overnight on the COVID-19 vaccine front.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.26% while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.18%.

In China, the Shanghai composite dipped 0.62% as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.29%.

Shares in Australia advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.66%.


Proactive Australia news:

Little Green Pharma Ltd (ASX:LGP) has entered into a strategic partnership with national private health insurer Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) for continued development of medicinal cannabis as a treatment for Australian patients.

Elementos Limited (ASX:ELT) (OTCMKTS:ELTLF) (FRA:9EM) has intersected visible mineralisation in four of the initial six diamond drill holes completed in 2020 exploration drilling at the flagship Oropesa Tin Project in Spain.

Horizon Minerals Ltd (ASX:HRZ) has received further strong shallow high-grade drilling results from the Rose Hill Gold Project, near Coolgardie, 35 kilometres west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) has achieved a key milestone through acceptance into the European Commission’s newly-formed European Raw Materials Alliance – an initiative launched in September 2020.

Macarthur Minerals Ltd (ASX:MIO) (CVE:MMS) (OTCQB:MMSDF) is set to become ‘the green iron ore company’ with its Lake Giles Iron Project in Western Australia to be at the fore of a new global iron ore future that values more sustainable steel products derived from responsible mining practices.

Alicanto Minerals Ltd (ASX:AQI) has hit chalcopyrite copper at Heden East prospect, the second regional target drilled within the Greater Falun Copper-Gold Project in Sweden and has repeated the success from the first target, Green Mile.

Blackstone Minerals Ltd (ASX:BSX) continues its aggressive exploration program testing multiple massive sulphide vein (MSV) prospects throughout the Ta Khoa nickel sulphide district in northern Vietnam.

Kin Mining NL (ASX:KIN) (FRA:8KM) has started a maiden mineral resource estimate for the Cardinia Hill deposit at the 100%-owned Cardinia Gold Project (CGP) near Leonora in Western Australia, following the receipt of further thick high-grade results from infill drilling.

Artemis Resources Ltd (ASX:ARV) has yielded a further A$2.3 million in cash from its ongoing program of non-core asset disposals, with total cash generated since March of around A$9 million.

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