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British midcaps jump on vaccine hopes, fresh stimulus

Stock MarketsOct 22, 2020 13:35
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London

By Devik Jain and Joice Alves

(Reuters) - British mid-caps jumped on Thursday, erasing earlier losses after a positive update on AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine candidate and as finance minister Rishi Sunak unveiled more support for businesses hit by the pandemic.

The domestically-focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 (FTMC) rose 0.9% to recoup declines from earlier in the week, with pubs and restaurant operators Marston's Plc (L:MARS), J D Wetherspoon Plc (L:JDW) and Mitchells & Butlers Plc (L:MAB) jumping between 1.3% and 7%.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index (FTSE) also added 0.1% after a study found AstraZeneca Plc's (L:AZN) Oxford COVID-19 vaccine accurately followed the genetic instructions programmed into it to successfully provoke a strong immune response.

"Vaccine news tends to be one of the big market movers so it looks like that, probably combined with Sunak's announcement, (is why) we have seen the market shift into the green," said Connor Campbell, market analyst at Spreadex.

Fears about new coronavirus-led restrictions as well as Brexit-related uncertainty have weighed on UK stock markets recently, with the FTSE 100 still on course for its second straight week of declines.

The new measures announced by Sunak included easing the eligibility for his jobs support scheme and new cash grants for affected businesses.

In company news, Unilever Plc (L:ULVR) rose 0.6% after it reported a stronger-than-expected return to sales growth in the third quarter, led by emerging markets where it generates the bulk of its revenue.

Rentokil Initial Plc (L:RTO) gained 4.8% as the pest control firm posted a 9.8% rise in third-quarter revenue due to higher demand for its disinfection services.

Britain is set to resume talks on a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, marking a new push by the two sides to protect billions of dollars worth of trade from the beginning of next year.

British midcaps jump on vaccine hopes, fresh stimulus
 

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Comments (2)
Matt Hester
Matt Hester Oct 23, 2020 9:32
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China started their vaccination program last month, Russia started this month. West too slow.
Mareks Boriss
Mareks Boriss Oct 22, 2020 13:43
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stop hope, no vaccines.
Prateek Mehta
Prateek Mehta Oct 22, 2020 13:43
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Nope, vaccines will be here by Dec/Jan
Prateek Mehta
Prateek Mehta Oct 22, 2020 13:43
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Nope, vaccines will be here by Dec/Jan
Mareks Boriss
Mareks Boriss Oct 22, 2020 13:43
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in Russia yes. Hope, could, might, highly likely have information- no facts...
 
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