Coronavirus vaccine hopes drive European stocks higher
European shares jumped on Monday as encouraging developments around a coronavirus vaccine spurred bets of a faster economic revival globally, even as a surge in infection rates clouded near-term outlook.
AstraZeneca said its Covid-19 vaccine, developed along with the University of Oxford, could be around 90% effective under one dosing regimen. However, its shares dropped 1%.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5% by 0810 GMT and hit a fresh high since late February, with energy and banks leading early gains.
The benchmark index clocked a third straight week of gains on Friday following recent Covid-19 vaccine breakthroughs.
Euro zone and UK business activity data for November are due later in the day, with investors looking to gauge the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the manufacturing and services sectors.
In company news, French bank Credit Agricole jumped 3.9% after its Italian unit launched an offer to buy Italian bank Credito Valtellinese (Creval).