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FTSE 100 seen on the up ahead of Johnson’s Christmas announcement

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There appears to have been something of a delayed reaction to the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine update Monday.

Markets in Asia and here in Europe have taken 24 hours for the news to sink in.

Perhaps it was the way the data was presented, or that traders simply overlooked the fact that the UK team has come up with a cheap, mass inoculation that can easily be manufactured and stored.

Instead, they appeared, initially at least, to have focused on the nuance around the efficacy of the AZ drug and jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Whatever the reason, positivity finally seemed contagious.

US political uncertainty is also beginning to ebb with Donald Trump seemingly willing to start the presidential transition.

Here in the UK, crunch talks are taking place with the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to determine how restrictions will be lifted to allow families to see each other over Christmas.

On the market, Covid bounce-back stocks Rolls Royce (LON:RR.) and IAG (LON:IAG) were up 7% and 4% respectively. In the second-tier, travel firms TUI (LON:TUI), up 10%, and Carnival (LON:CCL), ahead 6%, got in on the act too.

A return to profit for caterer Compass Group (LON:CPG) prompted a 4% bump to the share price.

The morning’s big faller was online white goods retailer AO World (LON:AO.), which succumbed to a bout of profit-taking in the wake of what on the face of it was a robust set of interims.

Down 6% on this morning, the stock has strode from a pre-pandemic low of 50p to almost 400p.

As Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, points out: “Companies suffering from the impact of the pandemic are easy to find, particularly in the retail space. On the other hand, for those reaping extreme benefits, it is unnecessary to look any further than AO World.

“Comfortably the best performer in the FTSE 350, the shares have risen by an extraordinary 365% in the year to date.

“Bulls of the stock will also be heartened to hear that the company believes the growth in online purchases, particularly for its major domestic appliances, represents a permanent shift in consumer habits.”

6.47 am: Strong start predicted

The FTSE 100 is expected to climb on Tuesday ahead of an expected announcement later in the day from Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the UK’s full plan for Christmas.

London’s blue chip benchmark has been tipped to rise 28 points on the IG spreadbetting platform, a day after closing down 17.6 points or 0.3% at 6,333.84 at the start of the week.

Wall Street was on the front foot overnight, with all three major stock market indices closing higher as traders took encouragement from the positive coronavirus vaccine news from the Oxford University trials, news that the White House transition was formally beginning and that Joe Biden wants to appoint former Fed chair Janet Yellen to the role of Treasury Secretary.

The Dow Jones finished up almost 328 points or 1.1% at 29,591.27, while the S&P 500 added 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite was nudged up 0.2%.

Asian markets are mixed on Tuesday, with the Nikkei up 2.5%, the Hang Seng up 0.1% but the Shanghai Composite down 0.4%.

Back in the UK, After Downing Street confirmed yesterday that England’s lockdown will end next week but, but a new tougher three-tiered system, today he is expected to confirm the full details of a four-nation approach across the UK following a meeting with the devolved leaders.

Around the markets

Pound up 0.1% at US$1.3336

Brent Crude Oil up 1.2% to US$46.60

Gold down 0.5% to US$1,827.81

6.45 am: Early Markets: Asia / Australia

Stocks in Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher today as investors in the region reacted to AstraZeneca‘s statement on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine developed along with the University of Oxford could be around 90% effective under a one-dosing regimen.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 led the gains by surging 2.5% while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.50%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were an exception with the Shanghai composite dipping 0.36% even as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.09%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.26% as the country’s iron ore exports reached a record high of A$10.9 billion in October.


Proactive Australia news:

Kingston Resources Limited (ASX:KSN) (FRA:RZZ) has taken an important step towards becoming a low-cost, mid-tier gold producer in the Asia-Pacific region with the completion of a positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) for its flagship 100%-owned Misima Gold Project in Papua New Guinea.

Alta Zinc Ltd‘s (ASX:AZI) (FRA:8EE) managing director Geraint Harris will outline the company’s progress and plans at the Gorno Zinc Project and Punta Corna Cobalt Project in northern Italy during a 45-minute online webinar on Thursday, November 26.

Tyranna Resources Ltd (ASX:TYX) has started exploration, including a comprehensive soil sampling campaign, at the Dragon & Knight Project in Western Australia.

Adherium Ltd (ASX:ADR) has signed an agreement with Monaghan Medical Corporation to support the introduction of its Hailie(R) asthma and respiratory treatment platform and technology into specialist respiratory centres in the United States.

Proactive hosted a Gold Webinar today which saw three resource companies – Nexus Minerals Ltd (ASX:NXM), Twenty Seven Co Ltd (ASX:TSC) and Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) – outline objectives for the year and upcoming plans for 2021 as they aim to capitalise on strong gold market fundamentals.

Lake Resources Ltd’s (ASX:LKE) is making considerable progress with its strategy to sustainably produce the cleanest quality lithium carbonate at scale for use in the fast-growing battery market.

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) (OTCMKTS:ATVVF) (FRA:JT71) has started geotechnical diamond drilling at Gabanintha Southern Resource blocks 50 and 60 of the Australian Vanadium Project to gather data for metallurgical and geotechnical purposes.

Anteris Technologies Ltd (ASX:AVR) is well on the way to achieving its operational goal for 2020 of completing the study of its proprietary DurAVR(TM) Transcatheter Heart Valve.

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