Despite encouraging news on the latest vaccine candidate to report, the FTSE 100 started Thursday on the back foot, taking its cue from a sell-off in the US overnight, says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
“The report on the AstraZeneca and University of Oxford vaccine was less likely to move the dial as, unlike the other major vaccine updates so far, there was no detail on its efficacy.
“And while the prospects for the second half of 2021 are looking more encouraging thanks to advances made by science, the here and now is increasingly difficult with New York announcing more severe restrictions amid a surge in Covid-19 cases across America.
“With Donald Trump continuing to stubbornly resist calls to concede to the projected winner of the Presidential election Joe Biden, it appears little is being done at a federal level to address the second wave of the pandemic in the US.
“Brexit uncertainty continues to buzz in the background like a low-level headache and oil prices are giving back some of their recent gains ahead of a crunch meeting of OPEC at the end of this month. We could be in for a challenging few weeks.”