The FTSE 100 and 250 flattened mid-afternoon following a opening boost from vaccine-relate good news this morning.
As at 4pm the FTSE 100 was virtually flat. The FTSE 250 was performing slightly better at 038 per cent.
British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines had the biggest bounce on the FTSE 100 today, rising four per cent by 2pm.
London’s markets rose on the news the vaccine being developed by Astrazeneca and the University of Oxford is around 70 per cent effective in protecting against coronavirus.
Rolls-Royce, which makes aeroplane engines, also did well, rising 3.18 per cent. Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn among other brands, rose 2.17 per cent on the vaccine news.
London’s main index opened up 0.49 per cent to 6,382 points this morning, while the FTSE 250, made up of slightly smaller firms, jumped to 19,648, up 0.72 per cent.
Shares in Cineworld surged nearly 20 per cent, Tui gained 7.9 per cent, while pub and restaurant company Mitchells & Butlers rose 4.6 per cent.
Remote learning platform Pearson, meanwhile, fell 2.43 per cent – the largest fall among FTSE 100 companies.
Defying bounce expectation AstraZeneca shares fell 1.78 per cent in the morning trade, becoming the fifth worst performing company among the 100.
“With the vaccine on its way and the likelihood that economic damage being done by the virus will lift, we’ll still have in place substantial support from central banks and governments. And that is an economic sweet spot that should see a significant economic bounce,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“It’s fascinating that investors are willing to focus on that aspect. It does require some pretty heavy squinting, including looking through the rising infection rates that we’re seeing right now. But there is a real optimism around it.”
Asian shares rose on Monday, pushing a broad regional index to a record high as investors pinned their hopes for economic revival on coronavirus vaccines.
European investors shared the brighter outlook in early trades, with pan-regional Euro Stoxx 50 futures gaining 0.29 per cent, German DAX futures 0.26 per cent higher.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.71 per cent on Monday, pushing past a previous record high touched on Friday.
Seoul’s Kospi was 1.83 per cent higher as an optimistic earnings outlook for South Korean chip giants drove gains.
Japanese markets were closed for a holiday, but Nikkei futures added 0.27 per cent to 25,815.
The regional index also got a boost from Australian shares which gained 0.34 per cent as the country eased some Covid-19 restrictions. Most of the country has seen no new community infections or deaths in several weeks. Chinese blue-chips added 1.54 per cent.
U.S. e-mini futures for the S&P 500 were 0.27% higher at 3,564 on Monday after U.S. shares slumped on Friday on a combination of dwindling aid for the U.S. economy and rising novel coronavirus infection rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.75%, the S&P 500 fell 0.68% and the Nasdaq Composite ended down 0.42%.
In currency markets, a rise in the safe-haven yen underscored nagging investor concerns. The dollar softened 0.12% to 103.73 while the euro gained 0.18% on the day to $1.1874.