After Pfizer, Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine news offers fillip to stock markets, with KLCI up at noon

After Pfizer, Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine news offers fillip to stock markets, with KLCI up at noon
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17): The FBM KLCI settled up 4.47 points or 0.28% at 1,604.13 before Bursa Malaysia’s afternoon break today as news of Moderna Inc's experimental Covid-19 vaccine’s effectiveness supported global share gains.

Across Bursa at 12.30pm, 11.09 billion securities had been traded for RM4.52 billion.

Globally, it was reported that Asian stocks cautiously pushed further into record positive territory today, and crude oil edged higher after US benchmarks were pepped up by news of the latest promising coronavirus vaccine.

It was reported that investor sentiment was given a boost after Moderna said its experimental Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing infection based on interim late-state data.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm became the second drugmaker, after Pfizer Inc, to announce promising trial data in the development of a vaccine to defeat the pandemic, Reuters reported.

Such sentiment bodes well for industries, including the aviation sector, which have been badly impacted by the Covid-19-driven restricted movement policies to curb the outbreak.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and AirAsia Group Bhd's share price rises outperformed the broader market as anticipation builded over the global reopening of the economy with pharmaceutical companies coming close to launching Covid-19 vaccines.

MAHB settled up 27 sen or 4.84% at RM5.85, while AirAsia Group rose 5.5 sen or 7.33% to 80.5 sen.

"[On the broader market] stocks should extend gains today given spillover [effects] from surging global markets amid vaccine and economic recovery optimism, but expect profit taking to check near-term gains and increase volatility as overbought conditions become excessive," TA Securities Holdings Bhd analysts wrote in a note today.