European Stocks Seen Higher Amid Fresh Vaccine Hopes By

© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse – European stock markets are seen opening higher Monday, boosted by renewed hopes of prompt delivery of a coronavirus vaccine. However, caution ahead of upcoming central bank meetings may limit the gains.

At 2:05 AM ET (0605 GMT), the contract in Germany traded 1% higher, in France climbed 0.5%, while the contract in the U.K. rose 0.4%.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:) announced Saturday that it had resumed phase 3 trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which it is developing with the University of Oxford, after the relevant U.K. authorities gave their approval.

The trials had been halted last week after a patient came down with an unspecified illness, casting doubt on the timing of the rollout of the vaccine, one of the most advanced in development.

Additionally, a day later, Pfizer (NYSE:) CEO Albert Bourla said the company’s own candidate, co-developed with German drug maker BioNTech, has a “good chance” of submitting key data from late-stage trials by the end of October, and once approved, could be rolled out to Americans by the end of the year. 

Investors have long been looking for a vaccine to allow people across the world to return to the work and consumption habits they had before the pandemic and its lockdowns.

However, there is also likely to be a degree of caution shown ahead of a number of important central bank meetings later this week. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve concludes its two-day on Wednesday. It’s expected to update its projections for the economic and interest rate outlook, which will include forecasts for 2023 for the first time. 

The and the will also announce their respective policy decisions on Thursday.

In corporate news, Euronext (PA:) will be in focus after saying Monday that it has submitted a non-binding offer to acquire Borsa Italiana from London Stock Exchange Group (LON:).

This is set to spark a takeover battle for the Italian exchange as Deutsche Boerse (DE:) submitted an offer on Friday.

Oil prices strengthened Monday as another fierce storm in the Gulf of Mexico caused rigs to shut down production.

Tropical Storm Sally is gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to be a category 2 hurricane. This is the second weather disruption to oil production in less than a month, with Hurricane Laura forcing shutdowns less than three weeks earlier. Sally is expected to make landfall near New Orleans on Tuesday.

futures traded 0.5% higher at $37.53 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract rose 0.3% to $39.93. 

Elsewhere, rose 0.5% to $1,957.20/oz, while traded 0.1% higher at 1.1851.

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