Vaccine hopes drive gains for European stocks and US equity futures

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European stocks rose on Wednesday, and US equity futures also climbed, as investors welcomed the news surrounding a coronavirus vaccine candidate.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index

FXXP00

rose 0.8% following a 0.8% loss on Tuesday. The index is barely positive for the week. Elsewhere, the German DAX

DAX

increased by 0.9%. The FTSE 100

UKX

was up 0.8%.

After closing US markets on Tuesday, biotechnology group Moderna

MRNA
said his coronavirus vaccine candidate has produced a “robust” immune system response in a larger group of people and that the study will move to a landmark clinical trial in July.

“Although the mismatch between the financial markets and the real economy remains fully effective, the removal of a single recessive input (the virus) via a vaccine can pave the way for rapid economic recovery,” said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp. .
“So the positive news about the virus vaccine can largely explain the dissonance between the change in stock market sentiment and the anxiety on Main Street,” said Innes, in a note to clients.
Optimism later spread to Wall Street, with Dow futures

YM00

up 241 points, S&P 500 futures

ES00

0.7% increase and Nasdaq-100 futures

QMI

up 0.4%. US stocks closed close to trading highs on Tuesday, spurred by a call from Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard to the bank to make large-scale sustained asset purchases to help the economy to rebound in a “thick fog of uncertainty” caused by COVID-19.
Inventories in Asia have fallen, with the CSI 300

000300

down 1.2% in a context of tension between the United States and China. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he had signed a China sanctions bill targeting Beijing from Hong Kong,

Goldman Sachs

GS

et UnitedHealth

UNH

The results will be released on Wednesday, while Europe has also received a handful of business updates.
Highly weighted shares of ASML Holding NV

ASML

fell 0.9% after the microchip equipment maker posted a sharp increase in second quarter profits, driven by higher sales, but the latter fell short of analyst expectations. The company said its growth prospects for 2020 remain unchanged from the start of the year despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Burberry Group PLC

BRBY

was the biggest designer of the Stoxx 600, down 5% after the British fashion brand announced a 45% drop in first quarter sales, with second quarter sales expected to drop 15-20%.
Actions d’Atlantia

ATL

has jumped 20% after the motorway operator of the Italian holding company Autostrade per l’Italia has made a last attempt to save its license, under threat of being withdrawn by the government after the collapse in 2018 of a bridge in Genoa.

Citing sources, Reuters said Autostrade’s offer would consist of a state lender Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) taking a 51% stake in Autostrade via a capital increase. Atlantia would eventually relinquish ownership of Autostrade.

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