Global stocks mixed amid unease about vaccine development
BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets were mixed Friday as questions about the effectiveness of one possible coronavirus vaccine weighed on investor optimism.
Markets in London and Sydney declined while Frankfurt, Shanghai and Hong Kong gained.
Investor optimism about progress in vaccine research was rattled after researchers questioned data that showed a candidate from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca was 70% effective.
“Market participants showed increasing signs of nervousness as data errors were revealed,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.6% to 6,323.28 while Frankfurt's DAX added 0.1% to 13,301.89. The CAC 40 in Paris was up less than 0.1% at 5,569.48.
On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up less than 0.1% while that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was unchanged.
U.S. markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.1% to 3,408.31 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.4% to 26,644.71. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.3% to 26,894.68.
Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.5% to 6,601.10 after China announced a tariff hike on Australian wine, stepping up pressure on Australia over issues including its support for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. China, Australia's biggest export market, has blocked or limited imports of beef, barley and other Australian goods.
“Markets have, until now, completely ignored China’s silent trade war with Australia,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report. “That reality appears to be dawning on Australian equity markets.”
The Kospi in Seoul rose 0.3% to 2,633.45 and India's Sensex was up less than 0.1% at 44,275.79. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.
Investors are looking forward to a possible vaccine to control the pandemic that plunged the global economy into its deepest slump since the 1930s, though forecasters warn the stock market rebound might be too early to be sustained.
Those hopes were dented this week when researchers questioned how Oxford and AstraZeneca calculated the effectiveness of their vaccine. That alliance is among researchers who have reported the most progress toward a possible vaccine. The AstraZeneca CEO told Bloomberg News the company might conduct another trial.
Investors also are dismayed that U.S. states and European governments are re-imposing controls on business and travel as infection rates surge.
The disease has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide and there are 61 million confirmed cases, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University.
Markets are uneasy about U.S. data showing consumer spending weakening and job losses rising.
Supplemental unemployment benefits that supported consumer spending, the engine of the U.S. economy, have expired. Congress is deadlocked on a possible new aid plan.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 64 cents to $45.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 9 cents to $47.88 per barrel in London.
The dollar fell to 103.98 yen from Thursday’s 104.25 yen. The euro rose to $1.1928 from $1.1906.