FTSE 100 rallied in early trading on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine trial and the easing of lockdown restrictions from December. London’s blue-chip index rose 20 to 6,371. AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) announced that the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine it has developed with Oxford University was very effective. The last phase of clinical trials showed that the jab had 90% efficacy though this fell to 70% when given as two full doses at least one month apart.
England’s gyms and non-essential shops will be allowed to open again from December 2 Boris Johnson will announce today. Closing times for pubs and restaurants will also be relaxed as England reverts to a three-tiered lock system.
Cineworld has arranged additional bank facilities of US$450mln to keep it afloat until next May. The loan is part of a package of measures worth S$750mln that will keep it going until at least until lockdown restrictions are eased and studios release blockbusters again.
Among the small caps, Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) expects full-year adjusted profit before tax to jump by 18% compared to 2019. The provider of freight management services will also increase its dividend.
Waste-to-energy firm EQTEC PLC (LON:EQT) has extended a preliminary agreement with Scott Bros Enterprises. The pair are discussing the development of the Billingham Energy waste gasification and power plant in the UK.
Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA) hailed news concerning a prototype battery that uses its technology. The prototypes developed by a partner achieved up to four times as much energy as standard batteries.