European markets rally on vaccine optimism

Published On: July 16, 2020Categories: Stocks & Shares1.9 min read

Specifically, the DAX rose 1.84% to finish the session at the 12,930 point level

Key European markets rallied firmly overnight – as the prospect of a potential Covid-19 vaccine looks to have sparked a new wave of investor optimism.

Specifically, the DAX rose an impressive 1.84% to finish the session at the 12,930 point level; the British FTSE 100 added 1.83%; the French CAC climbed 101 points; and the Italian FTSE MIB added 2.02% to close above the 20,000 point level.

Examining the German benchmark’s performance from a technical perspective – IG’s Chief Market Analyst, Chris Beauchamp, argued that the gains witnessed on Wednesday ‘are likely to continue unless a reversal below 12,400 develops. Further gains target 12,954 and then on to 13,600.’

On a more granular level, the best performing German stocks on Wednesday were MTU Aero Engines (+7.02%), Linde (+4.15%) and Merck (+3.79%); while the worst performing were Bayer, Continental, and Wirecard.

Wirecard (WDI) in particular has traded with pronounced volatility over the last month – with its market value plunging 97% in that period after the company revealed that it could not locate some €1.9 billion ($1.73 billion) in cash – representing approximately one quarter of the firm’s balance sheet.

Wirecard would soon declare that the ‘prevailing likelihood’ was that the cash never existed to begin with. In spite of this, investors continue to trade the stock – with WDI finishing out Wednesday’s session at €2.21 ($2.01) per share. For reference, in September 2018, Wirecard traded close to €200 ($181.66) per share.

Looking forward, DAX futures were trading down 75.2 points or 0.58%, suggesting that the blue-chip German benchmark would open lower on Thursday.

Elsewhere, US markets also traded strongly overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 227 points, the S&P 500 gained 29 points and the Nasdaq Composite added 61 points.

Despite this, US futures were also trading lower.

Looking at the fundamental drivers behind global equity market’s bullish price action overnight, IG’s market analyst, Kyle Rodda argued that ‘Positive developments in the pursuit for a COVID-19 vaccine once again outweighed concerns about the worsening of the pandemic yesterday.’

However, cases of the virus continue to tick higher on a global scale, last standing at 13.67 million reported cases.

Regardless of these growing case counts, Mr Rodda went on to note that it appears that the ‘Threat posed by the virus and the risk of potential new lockdowns [is being] overlooked, as market sentiment found itself juiced by separate announcements from US biotech company Moderna, and the University of Oxford, that progress is being made in their respective efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.’

The Moderna share price finished out the session up 6.90% at US$80.22 per share.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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