Global Matters Weekly – 16 November 2020

Light at the end of the tunnel

by Christopher Butcher
News last week of a potentially highly effective vaccine against Covid-19 has raised hopes that there is an end in sight to what has been an extremely challenging time for countries around the world. The virus has claimed the lives of 1.25 million people and paralysed the world economy. The Pfizer and BioNTech finding was the result of the first independent analysis of any Covid-19 vaccine in phase 3 trials – the final stage before commercial licensing – and it was found to be 90% effective, a level well above expectations. To put this into context, the widely-used measles vaccine is 97% effective and the season flu vaccination is between 40% and 60% effective. This is an important milestone on our path towards potentially ending this pandemic and the developers of the vaccine described it is a “great day for science and humanity”.

Market Snapshot

  • Global equities rose 2.4% last week on the back of positive vaccine news, which sparked a rotation from ‘stay at home’ tech stocks to cyclicals
  • The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has shown to be over 90% effective in preventing infections of Covid-19 from its efficacy data release
  • Brent crude rose 8.4% ending the week at $42.8 a barrel
  • Gold fell -3.2% to end the week at $1889.2 an ounce