European stock markets surge on vaccine hopes

AFP , Monday 24 Aug 2020

American authorities on Sunday announced that doctors could use blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a treatment against the disease

Frankfurt, Germany
FILE PHOTO The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, August 16, 2019 REUTERS

Looking ahead to a key meeting of central bankers this week, traders sent London's benchmark rallying 2.0 percent and major eurozone indices were almost 2.5-percent higher approaching the half-way stage.

American authorities on Sunday announced that doctors could use blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a treatment against the disease that has killed more than 176,000 in the US.
The move by the Food and Drug Administration comes as President Donald Trump faces intense pressure to curb the contagion that has hobbled the world's largest economy and clouded his once-promising prospects for re-election in November.
"European markets have kicked off the week in style, with the FDA's decision to approve the convalescent plasma coronavirus treatment raising hopes that we could see a vaccine fast-tracked before long," said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG trading group.
Hong Kong's main stock index meanwhile led gains across Asia, rallying 1.7 percent with traders cheered by a pledge from China's banking regulator that it would continue to back the city as a financial hub after concerns were raised following the imposition of a new security law last month.
Investors will this week be keeping an eye also on a virtual gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for monetary policy guidance after they have already provided already a wall of cash to support the global economy during the pandemic.
The main attraction is a speech by Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell that is slated to take place on Thursday.
"More clarity will no doubt be sought via this week's Jackson Hole symposium," said Ben Emons, of Medley Global Advisors.
Traders are additionally keeping tabs on Washington, where US lawmakers are struggling to reach an agreement on a fresh stimulus package for the American economy.
"Democrats and Republicans are still very far (from) reaching a deal, and this means no further immediate aid in terms of fiscal policy," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade.
"Investors will like to know how the Fed will use language to make politicians understand in Washington about the importance of another stimulus package."
- Key figures around 1045 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 2.0 percent at 6,118.76 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 2.4 percent at 13,075.07
Paris - CAC 40: UP 2.3 percent at 5,009.88
EURO STOXX 50: UP 2.3 percent at 3,334.80
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 22,985.51 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.7 percent at 25,551.58 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 3,385.64 (close)
New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 27,930.33 points (close Friday)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1829 from $1.1795 at 2115 GMT on Friday
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.72 yen from 105.78 yen
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3120 from $1.3087
Euro/pound: UP at 90.18 pence from 90.09 pence
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