European Shares Gain On Vaccine Optimism

(RTTNews) – European stocks were moving higher on Monday as upbeat GDP data from Japan and industrial output figures from China helped investors shrug off lingering worries about rising coronavirus cases and new lockdowns.

Vaccine hopes also boosted sentiment, with Johnson & Johnson launching a new large-scale late-stage trial in Britain to test a two-dose regimen of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine among thousands of volunteers.

The Oxford Covid vaccine and another one being developed by U.S. biotech company Novavax are already undergoing large clinical trials in British patients.

In a statement overnight, one of the scientists behind the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine said that “if everything continues to go well…we could have a normal winter next year.”

The pan European Stoxx 600 rose 0.7 percent to 387.77 after ending flat with a positive bias on Friday. The German DAX gained half a percent, France’s CAC 40 index rose over 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.8 percent.

BBVA shares soared 16 percent after the Spanish financial group agreed to sell its U.S. operations to PNC Financial Services Group for $11.6 billion.

Banco de Sabadell jumped nearly 13 percent on the buzz that BBVA could buy it.

Vodafone Group shares surged 3.4 percent. After a “resilient” first-half, the mobile phone operator said it was increasingly confident about its full-year performance.

The company maintained its dividend and reiterated its free cash flow and EBITDA guidance.

Diversified engineering company Smiths Group rallied 2.5 percent after saying it expects to meet market views for the full year.

Orange shares advanced 1.6 percent. The telecoms group said it has received a favorable decision from the French State Council regarding a tax dispute that began nearly ten years ago.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield gained 11 percent after reports that the company may see its chief executive officer Christophe Cuvillier and Chief Financial Officer Jaap Tonckens leave.

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