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Equities soar amid optimism over virus cure

by LLB Editor
24th Aug 20 10:44 am

Equities kicked the new week off with a bang thanks to renewed optimism over treating coronavirus. Stocks across Asia and Europe rallied following a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to give emergency authorisation for the use of plasma to treat coronavirus patients.

US President Donald Trump said the treatment could reduce deaths by 35%,” says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“The FTSE 100 jumped 1.2% to 6,071, the Euro Stoxx 50 index advanced 1.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.6%. Pre-market indicative prices suggested the main US indices would see gains of between 0.5% and 0.7%.

“On the UK market, telecoms, industrials, healthcare and miners were in strong demand as investors were happy to buy a mixture of higher and lower risk stocks. BT led the charge following reports that it was strengthening its defences should a takeover approach emerge following share price weakness.

“Bunzl, which provides products that companies need to do business but not sell directly to customers, joined a growing list of stocks reinstating dividends. This suggests growing confidence among board rooms that they can get through the current pandemic with only bruises rather than major injuries.”

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