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Stocks boosted by vaccine roll-out; Brexit hopes boost pound

Stock MarketsDec 14, 2020 10:35AM ET
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© Reuters. A man wearing a protective face mask is reflected on a stock quotation board outside a brokerage, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo

By Matt Scuffham and Marc Jones

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) -Wall Street opened higher on Monday as the start of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in the United States cheered investors, while Britain's pound jumped on a last-gasp extension to Brexit talks.

News that London and Brussels had agreed to "go the extra mile" to try to salvage a Brexit trade agreement set an optimistic tone, boosting Europe's main share index and lifting the euro against the struggling dollar.

"We are going to give every chance to this agreement... which is still possible," the European Union's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told reporters before updating envoys from the 27 EU countries on Monday.

Progress on coronavirus vaccines boosted sentiment, with the first doses being shipped across the United States as part of an effort to inoculate more than 100 million people by the end of March.

That was despite second waves of the pandemic forcing Germany, the Netherlands and possibly London back into stricter lockdowns. Cases surged in Japan, South Korea and parts of the United States as well.

"The vaccine has and will likely continue to provide a tailwind to the market that is allowing investors to look beyond record case levels, hospitalizations and deaths," analysts at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) said in a note.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.76%, the S&P 500 gained 0.86% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.31%.

MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets rose 0.65% to 633.94, while its index for emerging markets stocks fell 0.5%. Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index added 0.61% to 1,517.92.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.3% as a survey showed the mood among Japanese businesses improved in the December quarter.

In currencies, Sterling was the day's big mover, gaining on both the euro and the dollar as what last week had appeared to be evaporating prospects of a Brexit agreement came back to life.

Sterling was last trading at $1.3335, up 0.85% on the day after earlier climbing 1.2% to $1.3423.

"Even in the face of amped up rhetoric, we continue to think a deal is the most plausible outcome," said AXA Group chief economist Gilles Moec.

The dollar index fell 0.025%, with the euro up 0.16% to $1.213. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.01% versus the greenback at 103.99 per dollar.

The Federal Reserve's policy meeting on Dec. 15-16 will be an added hurdle for the dollar. The market is assuming the central bank will merely refine its forward guidance on policy rather than buying more bonds or "twisting" its portfolio to add longer-dated debt.

The Bank of England on Thursday and the Bank of Japan on Friday will close out central bank meetings for 2020. Before that, Wednesday brings the global flash PMIs and on Tuesday, China will issue its monthly data.

"The risk is then if the Fed does unveil a surprise twist at this meeting, then Treasuries could rally and the USD could fall," said Tapas Strickland, a director of economics at NAB.

An extra wrinkle is the chance of a U.S. deal on fiscal stimulus after a top Democrat hinted a compromise was possible to get an agreement past Republican objections.

Reuters reported a $908 billion relief plan would be split in two to win approval and could be introduced as early as Monday.

The talk of stimulus helped put a floor under gold, leaving it lower at $1,833 an ounce. Gold has gained more than 21% this year.

Oil prices rose on Monday, maintaining a six-week rally as investors priced in a global recovery next year. [O/R]

U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $46.78 a barrel. Brent crude futures rose 21 cents to $50.18.

Stocks boosted by vaccine roll-out; Brexit hopes boost pound
 

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Comments (17)
Danny Danny
Danny Danny Dec 14, 2020 1:03PM ET
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Nasdaq Bubble will burst soon
Aeron Geronimo
Aeron Geronimo Dec 14, 2020 12:55PM ET
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Nope. Americans are not happy. It is plunging. Or taking profit on Mondays. Lol.
tonald drump
tonald drump Dec 14, 2020 12:41PM ET
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So the Quarantine Techs are up... hmm ok
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Dec 14, 2020 12:28PM ET
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What boost? The Dow is barely positive.
Mike Brarey
Mike Brarey Dec 14, 2020 12:11PM ET
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He'll do what he promised, and what is needed: raise taxes on capital gain and wealth.
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Dec 14, 2020 1:57AM ET
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vaccine useless. no one wants to take it anymore.
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Dec 14, 2020 1:57AM ET
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the vaccine could be useful, byt the virus could mutate
Дмитрий Сильвестров
Дмитрий Сильвестров Dec 14, 2020 1:57AM ET
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perplexed76 . Could, will and is going to...
SquadW Name
SquadW Dec 14, 2020 1:57AM ET
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perplexed76 .   vaccine works on mutation too, its the same family, same proteins
Troy Coureton
Troy Coureton Dec 14, 2020 12:44AM ET
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“Hope” led Bubble lol crazy.
Samui Lo
Samui Lo Dec 14, 2020 12:41AM ET
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At what point of Record High a vaccine that brings things back to quasi-normal but with high unemployment is priced in?
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Dec 14, 2020 12:41AM ET
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economy will rebound to 2019 level. Isn't it the reason for historic highs?
Radu Urjan
Radu Urjan Dec 14, 2020 12:14AM ET
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Same Ponzi scheme over and over again. Already the bank analysts are telling people yo buy overpriced stocks on hopes that are already priced in. What a surprise, i feel a deja vu.
Dec 13, 2020 10:07PM ET
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Possible Bells Palsy from vaccine per CDC
Samui Lo
Samui Lo Dec 13, 2020 9:46PM ET
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Markets rocket up to record highs on news that would bring real economy to almost normal. It would be logical for good-ish news to bounce of lows not beat records
designio design
designio design Dec 13, 2020 9:37PM ET
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less than 1% holds over 99% the world's wealth
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Dec 13, 2020 9:26PM ET
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Yes....controlled by everything but Trump, the LOSER!
Ludovic Raymond
Ludovic Raymond Dec 13, 2020 9:26PM ET
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No need to mention the departing President. He does not have as much influence on the markets as he likes to think anyways
Gcj Rentals
Gcj Rentals Dec 13, 2020 8:45PM ET
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or sell the news?
Kuldeep Rana
Kuldeep Rana Dec 13, 2020 8:42PM ET
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stock market is manipulated
Jesse Mulliniks
Jesse Mulliniks Dec 13, 2020 7:56PM ET
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Lol
Pablo Blanc
Pablo Blanc Dec 13, 2020 7:46PM ET
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New all time highs incoming
Gcj Rentals
Gcj Rentals Dec 13, 2020 7:46PM ET
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or sell the news? :-/
 
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