Covid vaccine breakthrough fuels broad global equity rally

Covid vaccine breakthrough fuels broad global equity rally

S&P 500 closes up 1.2% after big shift from tech stocks into economically-sensitive sectors

Global stock markets roared on Monday as companies hit hardest by the pandemic led a share rally after Pfizer and BioNTech revealed a breakthrough in the race to find a Covid-19 vaccine.

The drugmakers’ announcement that a vaccine had been found to be more than 90 per cent effective in a late-stage trial ricocheted through asset markets already rising on optimism over Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election.

Wall Street’s blue-chip S&P 500 index closed 1.2 per cent higher, having earlier been up 3.9 per cent to set an intraday record high.

The Russell 2000 of small-cap stocks, seen as a barometer of the US economy, surged 3.7 per cent, but the Nasdaq Composite — which includes many of the tech stocks which have benefited from the shift to working from home — closed down 1.5 per cent.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 closed up 4 per cent, its best day since May. The MSCI’s All Country World index of global stocks hit a record after rising 1.3 per cent on the day.