FTSE 100 climbs to highest point in five months as second Covid vaccine found to be 94.5% effective

THE FTSE 100 has leapt today to its highest point since June after news a second coronavirus vaccine has been found to be 94.5% effective.

Shares leapt by 1.8% to 6,430.27 within minutes of the announcement, up from 6362.71 at around 10:45am.

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The FTSE 100 climbed to its highest point since June 5, when it rose to 6,484.30, but is has since dropped back slightly to 6,428.50.

Trials on more than 30,000 people found that only five given the jab by US maker Moderna developed the virus – none with severe symptoms.

It's the second indication in a week that a successful vaccine against Covid-19 is close to being developed.

The footsie index tracks the performance of the UK's 100 biggest companies.

How the FTSE 100 falling affects your personal finances

FALLS in the stock market can affect your finances in a number of ways, here we explain how.

Pensions – If you save cash into a pension scheme where the provider invests your money, you'll likely see the value of your pension drop when the FTSE 100 falls.

But keep in mind that with retirement savings, you’re investing for the long-term so the drop in value isn’t likely to be permanent.

Instead, you’ll see your retirement savings grow again once the stock market recovers.

Savings and mortgages – There is no direct link between the stock market and your mortgage or savings accounts. 

But if panic on the stock market spreads to the wider economy, the Bank of England may cut interest rates. Interest rates are currently held at 0.1%.

This means your mortgage is likely to get cheaper, while savers will suffer from lower interest rates.

We’ve explained how the interest rate cut will affect your finances here.

Sterling – The value of the pound often rises if the FTSE 100 falls.

This is because many of the firms on the index earns a significant amount of cash in the US.

But again, exchange rates are also volatile and there are many factors that make them rise and fall.

The markets hope that a vaccine will help the economy return to something close to normal.

The boost comes after an unsettled morning for the markets as Brexit trade talks were picked up again today.

Firms that have suffered as a result of the pandemic saw shares rise following the vaccine news.

British Airways owners, IAG, shot up by 15%, while engine maker Rolls Royce rose by 10.5%.

Meanwhile, companies that have thrived throughout the coronavirus lockdown have tumbled.

Just Eat Takeaway.com fell by 2.07%, while Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Dettol, dropped 2.72%.

AstraZeneca, a rival to Pfizer and Moderna in the race for a vaccine, stayed the same.

The UK has already agreed deals for six different vaccine candidates and has access to 350 million doses to date, but none are from Moderna.

However, the success rate of another vaccine is a positive indicator that more are yet to come, including the University of Oxford jab.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown said: "The index has had an indecisive morning, opening strongly, then falling back, before gaining again with worries about the outcome of negotiations placing a lid on some of the optimism surrounding the progress of vaccine roll outs for Covid-19."

Ayush Ansal, chief investment officer at the hedge fund, Crimson Black Capital, added: "More than anything markets need certainty, and the knowledge that the pandemic could be brought under control a lot sooner than most imagined could see stocks surge as sentiment rebounds."

Last Monday, the markets jumped 5.5% following the news from Pfizer that their Covid-19 vaccine trial worked better than expected.

The surged added £82billion to shares in the market's best day since June, although it dipped slightly to 6,186.29 but still finished up by 4.67%.

The government has already secured 10million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which could be rolled out by Christmas if given the green light from regulators.

On March 12, 2020, the markets crashed 10.9% in a day to finish at 5,237.00 points, in one of the worst days since Blank Monday in 1987.

Since then, the pandemic has continued to have an impact – in September the FTSE 100 crashed by 3.5% over fears the UK would go into a second lockdown.

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