23 November 2020

Pfizer Just a Step Away from Covid-19 Vaccine Launch


News shaping
the markets today


What’s happening: Pfizer and German partner BioNTech reported the submission of an application to the FDA for an EUA (emergency use authorization) for their covid-19 vaccine candidate.

What happened: The authorization request, which is the first application for the novel coronavirus, was submitted to US health regulators after the companies reported positive results from the final analysis of a late-stage trial with more than 43,000 participants.

The FDA is expected to hold a meeting of its VRBPAC (Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee) on December 10, which might decide the outcome of the vaccine candidate.

Why it matters: Pfizer’s vaccine candidate delivered an efficacy rate of 95% in the final analysis of its Phase 3 clinical trial in participants with or without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

If approved, the vaccine is expected to be available for high-risk persons in the US by end of next month. Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of the White House's coronavirus vaccine effort, said that almost 20 million people could be vaccinated across the US in December, and 30 million people per month after that.

The companies have also started to roll BLA (Biologics License Application) submissions in several regions, including Europe, Australia, Japan, and Canada. The company is also planning to submit applications to other regulatory agencies across the world in the coming days.

The companies expect to produce around 50 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020, with 1.3 billion doses expected by the end of the next year.

Outside the world’s most influential economies, the world is counting on AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate, which is in final trials, with results expected to be released shortly. Around 40% of the supplies of AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate, which is being developed with the University of Oxford, is expected to go to developing and underdeveloped nations.

While US stocks remained choppy on Friday, the vaccine related news is expected to support markets today. As investors cheer the news, US futures point to a higher open for Wall Street stocks today. Crude oil prices had also risen by 0.61% to $42.68 per barrel by 6am GMT.

How shares responded: Pfizer’s shares gained 1.4% to close at $36.70 on Friday, while BioNTech’s stock spiked 9.6% to $104.07.

What to watch: With the surge in covid-19 daily cases in the US and around the world, markets will keep an eye on the launch of a vaccine. Investors will continue to monitor progress made by Moderna on its vaccine candidate. One approved, the pharma companies are expected to be ready for distribution of the vaccines within a few hours.

The Markets Today


European stocks will be in focus today ahead of the PMI reports from the region.

Context: Markets in Europe finished higher on the last trading day of the week despite the continuous surge in coronavirus cases around the world.

Details: Global markets had been moving higher until Wednesday after pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna reported encouraging data from their respective late-stage coronavirus trials. The news had helped the Stoxx 600 index hit an eight-month high.

The rally stalled midweek, however, as investors turned their attention to the surge in covid-19 daily cases in the US and Europe and various countries reconsidering restrictions to contain the virus.

Meanwhile, Brexit’s chief negotiators suspended direct talks after one member of the European Union tested covid-19 positive. The uncertainty was contained, however, as discussions continued remotely.

Markets remained positive as US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell expressed his readiness to resume talks with congressional Democrats over a coronavirus relief bill.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed higher by 0.52% on Friday, with oil and gas stocks leading the gains, rising 1.5%. Almost all sectors settled in positive territory on Friday.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.27%, while the German DAX 30 added 0.39% and the French 40 gained 0.39% in the prior session.

What to watch: Investors await data on the manufacturing, services, and composite PMIs from the Eurozone. The IHS Markit Eurozone manufacturing PMI is expected to decline to 53.1 in November, from a reading of 54.8 in October, while the services PMI might drop to 42.5, from 46.9 in October. The Composite PMI is projected to decline to 45.8 in November, versus 50 in October.

Markets will also focus on the rising covid-19 cases, with total infections surging past 58.5 million around the world.

Other Markets: US indices closed lower on Friday, with the Dow Jones index, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 down by 0.75%, 0.68% and 0.42%, respectively.

Support & Resistances
for Today


market snapshot


Futures at 0400 (GMT)

What else to watch today


Turkey’s tourist arrivals, France’s manufacturing PMI and services PMI, Germany’s manufacturing PMI and services PMI, UK’s manufacturing PMI and services PMI, Brazil’s Federal tax revenues as well as the US Chicago Fed National Activity Index, manufacturing PMI and services PMI.


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