London stocks rose in early trade on Thursday amid hopes of a potential coronavirus vaccine, as investors eyed the release of the latest US non-farm payrolls report. At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 6,198.43. The sentiment was underpinned by news that an experimental Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNtech produced positive antibody results. Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com stated that the European equities followed the US and Asia higher on hopes for a vaccine and a strong US jobs report, whilst shrugging off soaring numbers of new cases in the world’s largest economy. Wilson said Pfizer’s positive vaccine trial results were helping investors to shrug off higher cases. He also stated that it is too early to get too excited – but a working vaccine is a holy grail as it would allow real normality to return to the economy. Other major stock players in different industries also hit by the pandemic including Associated British Foods, Aerospace, and defense engineer Meggitt, Avon Rubber gained ground after agreeing to sell its DeLaval business for £180m. DS Smith slumped as they experienced a drop in revenue. Peers Smurfit Kappa and Mondi also retreated. Mitchells & Butlers swung to a first-half pre-tax loss as the pandemic hurt revenue. Auto Trader was knocked lower by a downgrade to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ at Liberum.
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