The UK’s index of leading shares finished in the red to the tune of nearly 12 points, or 0.19%, to close at 6,157
- FTSE 100 index closes in red
- ‘s vaccine shows early signs of efficacy
- US private payrolls increase by 2.2mln in June
5pm: FTSE closes down
FTSE 100 index closed marginally lower on Wednesday after what was a volatile trading day.
The UK’s index of leading shares finished in the red to the tune of nearly 12 points, or 0.19%, to close at 6,157.
However, the more domestic focused FTSE 250 added over 70 points to close at 17,189.
“Stocks saw a lot of volatility today as health concerns weighed on sentiment in the morning, but the mood picked up on hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine,” noted David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.
“The tick up in tensions in Hong Kong also contributed to the negative move. Beijing have introduced a controversial law that will give it more control over the former British Overseas Territory, and that could impact China’s international relations,” he added,
Shares in drugs firms () and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) ticked higher in New York on potential coronavirus vaccine news. The pair reported positive early data from an ongoing Phase 1/2 study.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added around eight points at 25,820, while the S&P 500 gained over 12 at 3,112.
3.55pm: Carnival rises after securing multi-billion-dollar loans
The Footsie trimmed its gains again before close, adding just 1 point to 6,171.
Cruise operator Carnival plc () was up 5% to 1,039p after entering two secured term loans worth US$1.8bn and US$800mln respectively.
The facilities, agreed with several banks including JP Morgan, expire in June 2025.
As other travel stocks, the FTSE 250-listed firm has been hit by travel restrictions and was forced to cancel or move several cruise journeys scheduled for most of 2020.
In the US, the ISM manufacturing index rose to 52.6 from 43.1, above the consensus, 49.8.
Despite the improvement, Pantheon Macroeconomics said “the appearance of normalcy is misleading” as, just because the figures are above pre-pandemic levels, it does not mean the market is in better shape.
“The ISM is a diffusion index, measuring rates of change, not levels. It doesn’t care where activity ended the previous month – in this case, very depressed – or where it ended this month; also very depressed, but a bit less so,” said economist Ian Shepherdson.
“We’re happy that manufacturing activity appears to have risen in June, but a full recovery is a long way off, and we’re worried about the risk of a temporary relapse in the face of the second Covid wave.”
2.50pm: posts positive early data for Covid-19 vaccine
UK and US stocks turned green in the afternoon after a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Inc. () and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) showed positive results in the early stage of clinical trials.
The two firms are developing four candidates, with the most advanced showing…