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Europe close: Stocks give back early gains

Mon, 23rd Nov 2020 17:23

(Sharecast News) - European shares pared early gains on Monday even after positive news around AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine.
The drugmaker and Oxford University said their vaccine candidate was 70.4% effective on average, but 'market chatter' was that some had been hoping for a number closer to 80%.

One specific dose of the vaccine did appear to be as much as 90% effective but investors sold the news all the same, with depleted trading volumes ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday possibly also playing a hand.

"There is some hope that a shortened week in the US ahead of Thanksgiving and positive seasonality will drive us forward from here, but we are unlikely to see the cavalry arrive much before Wednesday afternoon, leaving equities vulnerable to a choppy couple of days," said IG chief market analyst, Chris Beauchamp.

"Happily of course December is another strong month so it looks like the positive story is not at an end just yet."

Against that backdrop, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index dipped 0.2% to 388.84, having been almost 1% higher in the morning session, while the Cac-40 drifted 0.08% lower to 13,126.97 and the FTSE Mibtel was marginally in the red, down 0.02% at 21,701.79.

Euro/dollar meanwhile declined 0.19% top 1.1835, having earlier risen to 1.1906.

Oil&Gas issues fared best, with front-dated Brent rising 2.27% to $46 a barrel on the ICE and the Stoxx 600's sector gauge climbing 3.1%.

Shares of Basic Resources names added 1.72% and Banks were up by 1.56%.

Some Travel&Leisure names also did well, with TUI up 8.1%, EasyJet 6.4% higher and International Airlines Group climbing almost 5.5%.

Atlantia shares rose roughly 2% after the infrastructure group's motorway unit Autostrade per l'Italia put forward a fresh proposal for a new tariff system in an attempt to break a deadlock with the Italian government over the company's handling of the Genoa bridge collapse in 2018 that killed 43 people.

Dragging on sentiment was a drop in IHS Markit's euro area composite output Purchasing Managers' Index from a reading of 50.0 for October to 45.1 in November (consensus: 45.6) as Covid-19 lockdowns to fight the second wave of the pandemic bit hard, pointing to a roughly 3% drop in the bloc's GDP in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Nevertheless, some economists also appeared to be starting to factor-in an improvement into their forecasts from recent upbeat news around the outlook for a rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

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