Moderna Inc, the Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm that received funding from the CEPI to accelerate the development of messenger RNA Vaccine against the novel coronavirus has announced positive interim Phase 1 Data for its mRNA Vaccine:
- After two doses all participants evaluated to date across the 25 µg and 100 µg dose cohorts seroconverted with binding antibody levels at or above levels seen in convalescent sera.
- mRNA-1273 elicited neutralizing antibody titer levels in all eight initial participants across the 25 µg and 100 µg dose cohorts, reaching or exceeding neutralizing antibody titers generally seen in convalescent sera.
- mRNA-1273 was generally safe and well tolerated.
- mRNA-1273 provided full protection against viral replication in the lungs in a mouse challenge model
- Anticipated dose for Phase 3 study between 25 µg and 100 µg; expected to start in July.
The share price of the drugmaker rose by nearly 20% as Moderna team is moving as fast (and safely) as possible towards a vaccine.
Global stocks rallied in the European and US session on Monday and experienced their best days in weeks. The markets also took note of the Fed’s comments that the US economy is expected to recover steadily towards the second half of the year, but the recovery could drag through to 2021. “For the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident. And that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine”, says Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
All major US equity benchmarks rose between 2%-4% while European bourses gained around 4%-5%.
- Dow Jones Average Industrial gained 912 points or 3.85% to 24,597.
- S&P500 rose by 90 points or 3.15% to 2,954.
- Nasdaq Composite added 220 points or 2.4% to 9,235.
In the FX space, the Moderna’s announcement sent the US dollar, Swiss franc and Japanese yen lower as investors exited safe-haven assets. Major currencies were stronger against the US dollar and the Antipodeans emerged as the best-performing currencies.
China’s pledge of $2 billion to help the global fight against COVID-19 and that any vaccine discovered by China would be made a “global public good”, has contributed towards the overall optimism seen on Monday. As risk sentiment improves, the AUDUSD rose the most in seven weeks above the 0.65 level. As of writing, the pair is seen trading in a consolidation phase before the release of the RBA minutes later today.
The overall optimism in the markets on Monday has helped the oil market to edge higher. A combination of production cuts, buoyant inventory reports, and the prospects of increasing demand is allowing crude oil prices to recover towards a semblance of normality.
As of writing, WTI Crude oil (Nymex) is currently trading 4.4% higher at $33.23 while Brent Crude (ICE) is trading at 34.81, up by 7.11%.
Risk appetite has sapped the demand for the precious metal. The positive development towards a vaccine has dampened the sentiment for safe-haven assets which caused the precious metal to retreat to $1,734,l. However, the pair has remained above the key psychological level of $1,700 due to geopolitical tensions and dismal economic reports.
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