DB Live: Stocks soar; Taylor Wimpey rises; Breedon sale
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9.30pm: Investors pile into equities
News from Pfizer that its Covid-19 vaccine provided 90% protection against the virus sent global markets into a buying frenzy, pushing indexes to some of their biggest ever one-day gains.
Wall Street picked up the baton from Europe with the S&P 500 ending higher but just shy of a record as investors bet that a full economic reopening was finally in sight following the first positive data from a late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial.
7am: Taylor Wimpey positive
Construction firm Taylor Wimpey said it is on track to deliver full year 2020 results towards the upper end of market expectations.
“With strong operational momentum and positive forward indicators, our confidence in 2021 has increased. As a result, assuming the market remains broadly stable, we expect to deliver 2021 operating profit materially above the top end of the current consensus range.”
As previously stated, it expects to recommence dividend payments in 2021, starting with the payment of the 2020 final dividend. “We will review the special dividend in 2021 for payment in 2022.”
Breedon site sale
Construction materials supplier Breedon has agreed the disposal of certain assets to Tillicoultry Quarries for £12.2 million on a cash and debt free basis to address competition concerns regarding its acquisition of around 100 sites from Cemex.
The 14 sites include ten ready-mixed concrete plants and an asphalt plant and associated aggregates depot in England, as well as two quarries in Collessie and Loanleven and a cement terminal in Dundee.
Markets: Biden bounce
Stock prices in Europe and New York were expected to rise sharply following Joe Biden’s election as US president.
Spread betters see the FTSE100 1.3% higher while the S&P500 is set to gain 1.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is set to rally by 2%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.5% to hit a level not seen since 1991.
Stock markets across Asia saw healthy gains with a positive sentiment in Australia, China and Hong Kong. The Shanghai Composite rose almost 2% and the Hang Seng was 1.5% higher.
Oil also rose. A barrel of benchmark Brent crude added $1 to $40.48, while the dollar fell.
There are hopes that the new administration will expand fiscal stimulus in the US and widen measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19. However, Mr Biden will most probably find himself without control over the Senate and some analysts believe he will be unable to push through any meaningful fiscal stimulus, nor raise taxes substantially.
There was optimism among Chinese investors that Mr Biden will ease US-China tensions under Donald Trump.
* Brexit talks resume in London
* Over 250,000 people who work for an employer which has voluntarily signed up to the “real living wage” will see their pay rise by 20p to £9.50 an hour. The compulsory National Living Wage is currently £8.72 an hour for anyone over the age of 25.
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