How wonderfully refreshing to read some positive news in relation to the ongoing battle with Coronavirus this morning.
Off the back of Pfizer's update regarding its vaccine potentially being able to prevent 9 out of 10 people from contracting the virus, markets have surged, with those sectors hit hardest by the virus justifiably seeing the largest increases.
The press seems to be focusing on travel businesses having the largest rises in their share prices but it is also good to see those in UK hospitality businesses also sharing in the resurgence.
Movement in stock markets is of course largely based on sentiment, which is no different to how people have formed their opinions of, and thereafter reacted to, ongoing changes in regulations brought in to control the spread of the virus. In the early days of the virus, and the absence of any scientific data, sentiment necessarily formed the basis for all decision-making.
Now more is known, and sentiment is being guided by evidence, questions have been raised as to the basis for some of the restrictions. The results of studies into the actual rate of transmission within 'Covid-secure' bars and restaurants have been published and the effectiveness of the 10pm curfew for those businesses has been called into question. However, if sentiment continues to change with the boost of the news of a potentially successful vaccine, hopefully the answers to those questions will become less relevant going forward.
Logistics and the deployment of any vaccine will of course be a challenge (particularly for a vaccine that needs to be stored at -80 degrees C) but for now the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel shines slightly brighter and we certainly appreciate the placebo effect the news has had on our household mid-lockdown 2.0 on a damp November morning!
In the UK, shares in travel firms - which have been hit hard by the pandemic - saw the biggest rises, with British Airways owner IAG soaring 25%.