By Steve Goldstein
European stocks rose on Monday, on hopes that the arrival of vaccines as early as next month will start to reverse the economic effects of the second wave of coronavirus.
Up 1.1% last week, the Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +1.84% rose 0.5%, led by travel plays, including International Airlines Group /zigman2/quotes/208070069/delayed UK:IAG +6.95% and oil producers such as Repsol /zigman2/quotes/202941606/delayed ES:REP +2.78% .
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +1.64% , French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +1.57% and U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.62% each advanced.
U.S. hospitalizations for COVID-19 set a record for the 29th consecutive day on Sunday, according to the COVID tracking project. On a per capita basis, Central European countries including Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland have the highest number of new cases.
The flash eurozone composite purchasing managers index fell to a six-month low in November due to the lockdowns across Europe, according to IHS Markit.
More good news came on the vaccine front as drugmaker AstraZeneca /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN +0.50% /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -0.60% said a study found the vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford was up to 90% effective , depending on the regimen. AstraZeneca shares fell 1.5%.
Drugmaker Pfizer /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +0.60% and biotech Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA +1.67% , using a different technique, found their vaccines about 95% effective, and the U.S. may begin vaccinations the day after Food and Drug Administration approval, according to the head of Operation Warp Speed.
“This is the third Monday in a row when encouraging vaccine news has hit the markets, and each time the positive impact on equities and other risk-linked assets has been getting smaller,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst at XM. “A vaccine is great news, but the global economy has to get through a long winter first.”
Investors also are watching the status of trade negotiations between the U.K. and the European Union. Politico reported that the European Parliament is preparing for an extra plenary session between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to give consent to a possible post-Brexit trade deal.
HelloFresh /zigman2/quotes/203376622/delayed XE:HFG +3.64% , the prepared foodkit maker that has seen a surge in demand during the pandemic, fell as it said it would buy Factor75, a U.S. ready-to-eat-meal maker, for up to $277 million.