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London Stocks Gain on Vaccine Hopes, GlaxoSmithKline Boost

UK stock markets have struggled this month to build on a sharp rebound since a coronavirus-driven slump in March, as a surge in global infections and building U.S.-China tensions dented demand for riskier assets.

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London-listed shares rose on Wednesday as signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine bolstered hopes of a swift post-pandemic economic rebound, while GlaxoSmithKline gained after a U.S. health panel voted in favour of its blood cancer drug.

The drugmaker rose 1.4% and was the biggest boost to the FTSE 100 as the independent panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the benefits of the experimental treatment for multiple myeloma outweighed the risks.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up 1.0%, tracking gains in Wall Street futures as Moderna Inc's experimental vaccine for COVID-19 showed it was safe and provoked immune responses in an early-stage study.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 added 0.9%, propelled by industrial, consumer discretionary and technology stocks.

Patrik Lang, head of equity and global strategy at Julius Baer said to Reuters, “News on the COVID-19 vaccine development has provided a required shot in the arm to markets (and) we also see sentiment improving on (a pickup in) consumer spending across the United States and Europe”. .

UK stock markets have struggled this month to build on a sharp rebound since a coronavirus-driven slump in March, as a surge in global infections and building U.S.-China tensions dented demand for riskier assets. The FTSE 100 has not managed to gain for more than three days in row since mid May.

Asia-focussed lender HSBC Holdings Plc was the single biggest drag on the FTSE 100 as U.S. President Donald Trump ordered an end to Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law, prompting a warning from China.

In a mixed bag of quarterly earnings updates, online fashion retailer ASOS jumped 2.8% on posting a sales bump through the coronavirus lockdown, while Burberry slumped 5.5% as it said demand had been severely impacted by the pandemic.

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Tags GlaxoSmithKline Coronavirus COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine Share Market Stock Market United Kingdom

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Neha Mule

Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.


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