FTSE 100 edges up as AstraZeneca vaccine shows 70% effectiveness

THE FTSE 100 rose this morning after news a Covid vaccine developed in the UK can stop up to 90% of people from getting the virus.

The London stock market went up by 0.59% to 6,388.86 when it opened at 8am this morning – although the rise is far from a leap.

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By 9:30am, the FTSE 100 had already fallen back slightly to sit 0.36% up on yesterday.

It's the third Covid-19 vaccine to have positive preliminary results in three weeks.

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

The markets hope that a vaccine will stabilise the economy.

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.

Today's boost to the stock exchange isn't as big as it was when Pfizer's announced its coronavirus jab showed 90% effectiveness, causing the FTSE 100 to jump by 5.5%.

Last week, the markets soared by 1.8% after Moderna said that its vaccine was found to be 94.5% effective.

There are other factors that affect the FTSE 100 which may have caused investors to hold back this morning.

Later today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to outline coronavirus restrictions that will be in place in England when lockdown ends on December 2.

A decision on the reopening of the retail and leisure industry ahead of Christmas could see the markets soar.

Like before, companies in industries that have been negatively affected by the impact of the pandemic have seen share prices go up this morning.

IAG, which owns British Airways, was up by 3.45%, while engine makers Rolls Royce saw a 2.46% jump.

But surprisingly, vaccine-maker Astrazeneca saw shares fall by 2.04%.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – uses a harmless, weakened version of a common virus which causes a cold in chimpanzees.

Britain has already ordered 100 million doses – which is cheaper and easier to store than Pfizer and Moderna's.

It has also been shown to work in different age groups, including the elderly, and there were no hospitalised or severe cases in anyone who received the jab.

Four million expected to be ready before the end of the year, if it gets regulatory approval.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic affect on the FTSE since the start of 2020.

On March 12,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.

Rumours of a second national lockdown across the UK in September caused the markets to crash by 3.5%.

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