Share prices jump after coronavirus vaccine ‘found to be 90% effective’

The FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 5.5% after it was announced that a new coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer is more than 90% effective.

This has added around £82,000,000,000 shares to London’s markets, in what could be their best day since the pandemic first began in March. British Airways owner IAG and engine maker Rolls-Royce, both of which have been hard hit by Covid, jumped on hope that the vaccine could return the economy closer to normal.

On the FTSE 250, Cineworld rose by 38%, Trainline added 33%, while easyJet, Tui and cruise operator Carnival were up about 28%.

However, businesses that were doing well as a result of the pandemic took a hit, with Ocado dropping by 8.5%, Just Eat losing more than 5% and Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Dettol, falling by 5%.

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Meanwhile AstraZeneca, which is rivalling Pfizer in the race for a vaccine, was trading flat today. This was despite the index already being up earlier in the day, due to the news of Joe Biden’s presidential win.

Pfizer chairman and CEO Dr Albert Bourla confirmed today that a Covid-19 vaccine trial had exceeded experts’ expectations. He said: ‘Today is a great day for science and humanity.

‘The first set of results from our phase three Covid-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent Covid-19.

‘We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development programme at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.

‘With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.

‘I want to thank the thousands of people who volunteered to participate in the clinical trial, our academic collaborators and investigators at the study sites, and our colleagues and collaborators around the world who are dedicating their time to this crucial endeavour.

‘We could not have come this far without the tremendous commitment of everyone involved.’

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