FTSE 100 edges up as Oxford vaccine approved by regulators


THE FTSE 100 has edged higher this morning after Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine was approved by regulators.

Shares climbed to 6,615, up 0.20%, after it was confirmed the jab will be rolled out to millions of Brits from Monday – although the rise is far from a leap.

How the FTSE 100 has changed throughout December

Markets reacted to the glimmer of hope as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the vaccine will help Britain out of the pandemic by spring.

But it’s possible markets had already anticipated the vaccine news, stunting the rise this morning, after the FTSE closed yesterday at its highest finish since before lockdown in March.

The FTSE ended at 6,603 on December 29, in its first day of trading since the Brexit agreement was reached on Christmas Eve.

News that the Oxford University vaccine was expected to gain UK approval in the coming days had also been reported.

By 9.00am, the FTSE had dropped slightly to 6,600, down 0.03%.

The footsie index tracks the performance of the UK’s 100 biggest companies.

Shares in AstraZeneca and the FTSE 250, which tracks medium-sized British companies, have also risen today.

AstraZeneca shares were up by 1.3% to reach 7,582, while the FTSE 250 was at 20,913, up 0.08%.

The FTSE had previously edged higher on November 23 after the AstraZeneca vaccine was first found to be 70% effective in clinical trials.

At the time, the London stock market went up by 0.59% to 6,388.86.

In mid-November, the FTSE 100 climbed to its highest point in five months after a second Covid vaccine was found to be 94.5% effective.

And the week before, the markets jumped 5.5% following the news from Pfizer that their Covid-19 vaccine trial worked better than expected.

It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he believes 2021 will be a “new era” for Britain.

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