Trading volumes surge as COVID-19 vaccine hopes spark rush to invest

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Election Day in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., November 3, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) – Trading volumes on retail platforms surged after the first successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine caused a stampede to buy up stocks.

A spokesman for IGG.L told Reuters trading volumes in the 30 minutes after Pfizer PFE.N released news on its vaccine were up to 10 times the level seen earlier in the day.

The levels, which the spokesman called “unprecedented”, broke a previous record set in March when markets recorded sharp falls at the peak of virus-related restrictions.

Traders rushed to pick up beat-up stocks that were deemed casualties of the pandemic, including oil companies, hospitality groups, fashion retailers and airlines.

Oil prices, which had plunged into the negative territory for the first time in history amid a supply glut in April, shot up by nearly 10% and global stocks scaled record highs after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech BNTX.O said their experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. [O/R]

In what could perhaps be the clearest sign that markets are counting on millions of people going back to their normal routines, major cinema operators AMC AMC.N and Cineworld CINE.L sky-rocketed by about 40% each.

Hargreaves Lansdown HRGV.L, a fund and trading platform that has over 1.4 million investors, said the trial results have prompted the busiest day in terms of volumes to the website and mobile app traffic at Hargreaves.

“Relief has washed over the global stock markets in waves today, the biggest breaking on the news a vaccine for COVID- 19 could be landing sooner rather than later,” said Susannah Streeter, a senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves.

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