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FTSE 100 surges as most battered stocks rebound on Pfizer COVID vaccine news

  • FTSE 100 index soars 326 points
  • US indices to storm higher
  • Test results in COVID-19 vaccine much better than expected

2pm: Battered travel and leisure sector rebounds

The FTSE 100 is continuing its storming run since Pfizer’s vaccine news earlier, with the London benchmark up 326.39 points or 5.5% to 6,236.41.

Airlines and other stocks battered by the virus are driving the gains, as investors work out which industries will benefit most from coronavirus vaccine.

Rolls Royce (LON:RR.) is top of the Footsie leaderboard, followed by British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG).

Hotel groups Whitbread (LON:WTB) and IHG (LON:IHG), Primark owner AB Foods (LON:ABF) and city centre property developers British Land (LON:BLND) and Land Securities (LON:LAND)

Also among the big risers are Informa (LON:INF), RELX (LON:REL) and Compass (LON:CPG), with the events and exhibitions and catering industries some of the less obvious sectors hit by the pandemic.

Fallers are being led by those companies that have done best, so bottom of the blue chip list is online grocer Ocado (LON:OCDO), down more than 11%, with Just Eat Takeaway (LON:JET) not far behind.

Also precious metals miners Fresnillo (LON:FRES) and Polymetal (LON:POLY), with gold and silver having surged during the pandemic uncertainty.

Kingfisher (LON:KGF), where its B&Q and Screwfix chains having done well during lockdown, is among Tuesday’s bottom dwellers, along with Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB.), a big manufacturer of Dettol and other surface cleaners and handwash products.

Among the mid-caps, cinemas group Cineworld (LON:CINE) has soared over 40%, cruise operator Carnival (LON:CCL) is up 37% and they are followed by easyJet (LON:EZJ), travel focused retailers SSP (LON:SSP) and WH Smith (LON:SMWH).

Online white goods retailer AO World (LONAO.) is bottom of the FTSE 250, down 16%, followed by precious metals miners Hochschild (LON:HOC) and Centamin (LON:CEY), online gaming groups 888 Holdings (LON:888) and Gamesys (LON:GYS), and online CFD broker Plus 500 (LON:PLUS).

Among the small caps, pub owners like Young’s (LON:YNGA), travel focused Jet2 (LON:JET2) and Gym Group (LON:GYM) are top of the list, while fallers Novacyt (LON:NCYT) is one of the big fallers, almost halving since the news emerged.

12.15pm: Pfizer and BioNTech feel they have a winner on their hands

Some heartening news on a potential treatment for the coronavirus (COVID-19) is set to light a fire under US equities.

Spread betting quotes suggest the Dow will add more than a thousand points – 1,128 to be precise – and open at around 29,451.

The S&P 500 is expected to soar 107 points to 3,615 while the NASDAQ Composite is predicted to jump 371 points to 12,266.

The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was successful in preventing more than 90% of people from getting the coronavirus in a preliminary test.

Pfizer and BioNTech said following the preliminary analysis that it is “a great day for science and humanity”.

The apparent 90% success rate was much higher than expected (READ MORE on the Pfizer story here).

The news added extra fuel to what was already set to be a hot start for US equities in the wake of Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden’s presidential election victory last week.

Biden is reportedly to set up a task force to tackle the spread of the virus, which was described as “out of control and accelerating” by Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“Yesterday saw 106K cases, up 44% from Sunday last week. The trend rate of increase has now risen to about 34% per week, almost doubling over the past week. If this continues, Chart 1 below shows that by the end of the year, the US would be reporting 1.0 million cases per day, which would mean that the national picture would be nearly twice as bad as North Dakota—the worst hit state, by far—is right now,” Shepherdson said.

In London, the news of a potentially successful vaccine for COVID-19 sent the Footsie storming 256 points (4.3%) higher to 6,166.

10.30am: Biden bounce

While Trump is still hidin’, equity investors are buying into the Biden Bounce.

London’s index of leading shares was up 83 points (1.4%) at 5,993.

“Joe Biden may still have a host of law-suits from Trump to contend with, yet the risk-on sentiment we are seeing throughout markets highlights a confidence within the trading community that these legal challenges are nothing more than a bid to save face,” said Joshua Mahony, the senior market analyst at IG.

“Trump may hope that an extended legal challenge will push the decision into the hands of the Republican-dominated supreme court, much like the 2000 election; however, while the Gore-Bush election was almost too-close-to-call, the 290-214 loss for Trump leaves little uncertainty over who has won this time around,” Mahony said.

Housebuilders are to the fore in London after Taylor Wimpey PLC (LON:TW.) – up 12% at 137.65p – said it expects full-year results will be towards the upper end of market expectations.

It’s amazing what a little (?) help from the government can do for a firm’s fortunes.

Sticking with the housing market, estate agents Countrywide PLC (LON:CWD) have received some love after rival Connells made a bid approach, at an indicative level of 250p per share.

Countrywide’s shares shot up 43% to 207p.

8.50am:  Good start to new week

The FTSE 100 opened firmly in positive territory on Monday with Europe’s major markets pricing in a Joe Biden presidency in the US

The index of UK blue-chip stocks opened 78 points higher at 5,988.42.

The networks in the US have already called the election for the former Democrat vice president, and the markets appear to have written off the chances of success for legal action threatened by the current White House incumbent.

The relief for the markets at least is that the Republicans held onto the Senate, meaning proposed tax hikes are unlikely to go through.

Rather, the early focus for the new president looks set to be a second stimulus programme to lift the ailing US economy and the healing of international trade rifts, most notably with China.

“Despite the likelihood of the election result being contested, the fact that Congress will be divided is now being priced in, which is seen as a tailwind for markets since sweeping changes are more difficult to introduce,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

“In particular, previous concerns of higher taxes and less regulatory interference have subsided, while an early boost to the economy from further fiscal stimulus is seen to be on the immediate agenda.”

Moving early on here in the UK were the housebuilders, led by Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW.), up almost 12% after it upgraded its earnings guidance. Persimmon (LON:PSN), Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) and Berkeley (LON:BKY) all received significant boosts to their share prices on the coat-tails of TW.

Among the tiddlers, med-tech group IQ-AI Ltd (LON:IQAI) continued its ascent, rising 20% to 17.4p on the back of a deal with the Mayo Clinic. A week ago, the shares were trading at 5p each and were changing hands for less than 2p in March.

Proactive news headlines:

IQ-AI Limited (LON:IQAI) subsidiary Imaging Biometrics (IB) said it has teamed up with the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to develop a brain lesion tracking platform to be called IB Trax. Using artificial intelligence, the new technology will be used to assess the development of metastatic and primary brain tumours. IB’s quantitative expertise will form the foundation of IB Trax with clinical input provided by the May Clinic, IQ-AI said.

88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) has told investors its farm-out process for the Peregrine project, acquired earlier this year, is now in the final phase with multiple bids on the table. The company highlighted that it received strong interest and the bids were competitive. It has now selected a preferred bidder and final documentation is expected to be executed in the next few weeks – at which point the anticipates announcing further transaction details.

One Media IP Group PLC (LON:OMIP) said it has incorporated a new subsidiary, TCAT Limited, and appointed an experienced management team to enhance the use of its Technical Copyright Analysis Tool (TCAT). TCAT is a software as a services (SaaS) platform developed by One Media to detect copyright infringement within legitimate digital music stores. AIM-listed One Media, which acquires, publishes and distributes digital music rights, said the creation of the subsidiary is part of TCAT’s next phase of development to become a “leading anti-piracy service for the music industry”. In a separate announcement covering trading for the year to October 31, 2020, One Media said that it is “countering the ongoing wider macro challenges” and is continuing to trade in line with market expectations. The company expects to report revenues for the year of around £4mln and earnings (EBITDA) of £1.4mln, an increase of 14% and 30% respectively year-on-year.

Zaim Credit Systems PLC (LON:ZAIM) has turned cash flow positive at the operating level in the third quarter following “outstanding growth” in its online business. The fintech group, which focuses on Russian consumers not best served by mainstream lenders, said the group traded profitably in the third quarter and is experiencing rapid growth. The group generated positive operating cash flow of £149,000 in the third quarter compared to negative cash flow in the previous quarter of £178,000, which the board believes demonstrates that the growth of amounts funded is “healthy, solid and self-sustaining”, which gives the group “good confidence” in the long-term sustainability of its strategy.

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) has said its joint venture partner IAMGOLD Corporation will shortly restart its 10,000-metre (m) air core (AC) drilling programme at the Senala project in Senegal. Prior to the seasonal rains, IAMGOLD had already completed 1,300m AC drilling at the northernmost Faré prospect and will resume its programme there later this month. Initial results from the programme are anticipated in the first quarter of 2021.

Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) (OTCMKTS:SMCDY) has announced the results of a review of the Leigh Creek copper mine project, and a report in relation to the anticipated capital and operating costs associated with planned production at the Lynda/Lorna Doone deposits. The project funding requirement to get production up and running at Paltridge North has now been reduced to US$2.2mln as a result of the adoption of an alternate mine schedule for processing and use of external contractors to undertake mining. What’s more, the total project pre-tax cash has increased to US$35.4mln due to earlier commencement and shorter processing of Lynda/Lorna Doone deposits.

Mailbox REIT PLC, the owner of one of central Birmingham’s largest commercial properties, has increased its dividend target as it looks to conclude a management agreement with the serviced offices group IWG PLC (LON:IWG). IWG, the owner of the Regus chain has conditionally agreed to take on the running of 50,000 square feet that has been converted largely from retail use and which will be operated under IWG’s ‘Spaces’ fascia. The aim is to lift the operating income for Level-One of the Mailbox office and retail development from £1 per square foot to around £27.50.

Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BZT), at Friday’s close, announced revised terms for its transaction with KPZ International for the Kalengwa exploration project, Zambia. A joint venture agreement struck in April 2020 envisaged two US$125,000 payments scheduled for August and December respectively, but it is now agreed that Bezant will make a single issue of shares to KPZ. Bezant is issuing 76.9mln new shares, priced at 0.25p each, to KPZ shareholders. The pricing is based on the three-day volume-weighted price (VWAP) as of November 5, 2020.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (LON:BMN) is to issue US$35mln of convertible loan notes under an existing agreement with Orion Mine Finance. As an adjustment to the previously announced terms of the instrument, the conversion price of the convertible loan notes has been set at 17p. The proceeds from the issue of the convertible loan notes will go towards the first phase of Vanchem’s critical refurbishment programme and debt repayment.

Pelatro PLC (LON:PTRO), said its mViva platform has been chosen by an Asian telecommunications company (telco) for campaign management operations. The telco is part of a large global group that is an existing customer of Pelatro. The contract is recurring in nature and includes a variety of services as well as the product itself. Over the term of the contract lasting three years, revenue is expected to be between US$1mln and US$1.8mln, depending on the customer’s take-up of additional services that are currently under discussion.

Sunrise Resources PLC (LON:SRES) told investors it has completed the planned drill hole at its Clayton silver-gold Project in Nevada, United States. The hole passed through the target zone before being terminated at a depth of 104.7 metres. It was designed to twin and deepen a historic drill hole CL-15, which measures 7.6 metres with a silver grade of 165 grams per tonne (g/t) and 0.4 g/t gold, and drill core samples have been sent for assay and analysis.

Afarak Group PLC (LON: AFRK) has announced that Melvin Grima, its chief financial officer, will leave the company at the end of the year.  With the current environment, the CFO function will not be replaced, and the responsibility will be entrusted to the CEO with the support of the current finance team. In this respect, the company has appointed Kylie Gauci, the group’s finance controller, as group finance manager. Afarak’s CEO, Guy Konsbruck, said: “Kylie Gauci has been with the Company for a number of years. Her experience and excellent performance made it easy for me to entrust her with the finance manager position.”

Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) (TSX:APY) announced that following the purchase of ordinary shares on November 6, 2020, the company’s share buyback programme, as announced on September 25, 2020, has been completed. Over the course of the programme, the company has acquired in aggregate 4,629,703 ordinary shares of 2p each in the company for a total consideration of £5mln, at a volume-weighted average price of 107.973p per share. The programme was largely financed by the partial disposal of the company’s non-core equity holdings, allowing for the group to retain its ability to finance growth. Julian Treger, Anglo Pacific’s chief executive officer, commented: “The share buyback programme, which was financed from the partial disposal of the Company’s non-core equity holdings has now been completed and we are pleased to see that this has provided an immediate return to shareholders. With a strong balance sheet and undrawn borrowing facilities of US$63.6 million (inclusive of the US$30 million accordion) we are well placed and confident in our pipeline and ability to further grow and diversify our portfolio.”

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said on Friday that it has received a notice to exercise warrants over 1,542,400 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at an exercise price of 1.0p per ordinary share. Subscription monies of £15,424 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.

Alien Metals Limited (LON:UFO), a minerals exploration and development company, announced that, following the receipt of exercise notices, it has issued 14,833,000 ordinary shares of no par value in the capital of the company at an issue price of 0.25p per share and 2,222,223 ordinary shares of no par value at an issue price of 0.3p per share.

DeepVerge plc (LON:DVTG) has said that all of the conditions of its recommended all-share for Modern Water have now been satisfied or waived and the offer has now been declared unconditional in all respects.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) announced on Friday that it’s annual general meeting (AGM) will be held as a virtual meeting as a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions at 2.30pm. on Monday, November 30, 2020. As a consequence of the current measures implemented by the UK Government, shareholders will not be permitted to attend the AGM but are strongly encouraged to submit their votes by proxy as soon as possible. Voting at the AGM will be carried out by way of poll so that votes cast in advance, and the votes of all shareholders appointing the chairman of the AGM as their proxy, can be taken into account.

IXICO PLC (LON:IXI), the data analytics company delivering insights in neuroscience, will announce its audited Final Results for the year ended September 30, 2020, on Wednesday, December 2,  2020. The company said it will be hosting a live online presentation open to all investors on December 2 at 3.30pm (GMT). The presentation will be delivered by Giulio Cerroni, the group’s chief executive officer, Grant Nash, its chief financial officer and Lammert Albers, its chief commercial officer, through the digital platform Investor Meet Company. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and add to meet IXICO PLC via the following link:

OPG Power Ventures PLC (LON:OPG), the developer and operator of power generation plants in India, has announced that its annual general meeting (AGM) will be held at 11.30am on November 30, 2020, at FIM Capital Limited, 55 Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1LA.  Given the current guidance regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and the travel restrictions into the Isle of Man, the group recommends that shareholders should not attempt to physically attend the AGM and instead recommends that they vote by proxy. The company also announced that its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended March 31, 2020, have now been published on its website at:

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC), the leading global immunodiagnostics group, has said its annual deneral meeting (AGM) will be held at 10:00 am on November 30, 2020, at the offices of Zeus Capital, 10 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 3AG . As a result of the current UK Government guidance on social distancing and prohibiting public gathering over certain numbers, the company has taken the decision that this year, unfortunately, it will not be possible for shareholders to attend the AGM in person. The AGM will therefore be primarily functional in formation with only a small number of directors and/or other employee shareholders attending in person. The company, therefore, requests that shareholders appoint the chairman of the meeting as a proxy and provide their voting responses in advance of the AGM. In order to facilitate engagement with shareholders, shareholders can submit questions to the directors ahead of the AGM by email to

SourceBio International plc (LON:SBI), a leading international provider of integrated state-of-the-art laboratory services and products, has announced that it will be hosting a live online presentation open to all investors on Thursday November 12, 2020, at 4.30pm, delivered by Jay LeCoque, its executive chairman, Tony Ratcliffe, CFO and Russell Wheatcroft, COO. The presentation will be hosted through the digital platform Investor Meet Company. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and add to meet SourceBio International plc via the following link:

MaxCyte, Inc. (LLC:MXCT) (LON:MXCL), a global cell-based therapies and life sciences company, has said its CEO Doug Doerfler will present an overview of the company at the Stifel 2020 Virtual Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, November 17, and at the Jefferies Virtual London Healthcare Conference on Thursday, November 19. Both presentations will be accessible on the company’s website, under the Investors tab.

AEX Gold Inc. LON:AEXG) (CVE:AEX), an independent gold company with a portfolio of gold licences in Greenland, announced that a new video covering the operations at the company’s past-producing Nalunaq gold project is available to view on its website at:

6.50am: Strong start predicted

The FTSE 100 looks set to get off to a strong start with the UK blue-chip pricing in strongly a Joe Biden presidency.

The US TV networks may have called the election for the former vice president, but Donald Trump appears reluctant to vacate the White House and is threatening legal action on multiple fronts.

Traders are pricing in limited scope for success.

“With Mr Biden looking likely to extend his electoral college votes as the last states complete counts, it is a leap of faith that the Republicans will overturn results in multiple US states by the margins required,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

A Biden presidency is likely to see a more conciliatory approach to international trade along with a concerted effort to get the rampant coronavirus outbreak under control.

With the Republicans retaining the Senate it appears unlikely his package of tax hikes will go through, however. Rather, the early first focus for the new president looks set to be a second stimulus programme to lift the ailing US economy.

Last week’s US non-farm payrolls numbers, which were better than expected, provided a small glimmer of hope the bloodletting in the jobs market was slowing.

Here in the UK it looks set to be another busy week for corporate news. Updates are expected from ITV (LON:ITV) and second-liners WH Smith (LON:WHS), JD Wetherspoon (LON:JDW) and Land Securities (LON:LAND).

On the markets:

  • Pound US$1.3176 (+0.15%)
  • Bitcoin US$15,404.59(+2.715)
  • Gold US$1,961.90 (+0.52%)
  • Brent crude US$40.48 (+2.61%)

6.45am: Early Markets – Asia/Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region surged on Monday as investors reacted to Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in the US presidential race.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 2.12% while South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.25%.

Chinese stocks also surged with the Shanghai composite up 1.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 1.42%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 joined other Asian markets in continuing the post-election stock rally by closing 1.75% higher.


Proactive Australia news:

Alkane Resources Limited (ASX:ALK) (OTCMKTS:ALKEF) (FRA:AK7) has significantly expanded mineralisation at its Boda prospect in Central West New South Wales after intersecting further extensive zones of gold-copper mineralisation.

Mako Gold Ltd (ASX:MKG) has received wide and high-grade intersections from drilling that support a large gold discovery at Tchaga prospect on the company’s 224 square kilometre Napié Gold Project in Côte d’Ivoire.

Sipa Resources Ltd (ASX:SRI) has completed a 1,545-metre reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the Wolfe Basin Project in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, focusing on key targets highlighted by recent IP surveys.

Legend Mining Limited (ASX:LEG) assays of up to 24.7 metres at 1.35% nickel, 0.77% copper and 0.11% cobalt from 219.2 metres confirm visual observations of nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation at the Mawson prospect within Rockford Project in WA’s Fraser Range.

DomaCom Limited (ASX:DCL) has partnered with leading Australian community housing provider (CHP) BlueCHP Limited, to deliver up to $250 million in affordable housing for essential workers in 2021.

Zelira Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ZLD) (OTCQB:ZLDAF) (FRA:G1G) has entered into an agreement with Emyria Ltd (ASX:EMD), to conduct an observational trial for patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) treated with Zelira’s HOPE™ range of products.

Ramelius Resources Ltd (ASX:RMS) will expedite development of the Penny Gold Project near Mt Magnet in Western Australia after receiving positive feasibility study results.

Dart Mining NL (ASX:DTM) has started drilling copper-gold mineralisation targets at the wholly-owned Granite Flat project in northeast Victoria.

Bardoc Gold Ltd (ASX:BDC) is closing-in on development of its new long-life Bardoc Gold Project near Kalgoorlie following strong progress with development studies, an upgraded mineral resource and drilling success.

MaxCyte subsidiary CARMA to present MCY-M11 candidate data at meeting of Society for Immunotherapy o

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