European shares bounced on Friday on hopes that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be available in the US before the end of the year, with a clutch of upbeat quarterly earnings also lifting sentiment after a torrid week.
Pfizer Inc said it could file for US authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech AG as early as next month.
The news powered global stock markets and helped lift the pan-European STOXX 600 by 1.3 percent in its best session in nearly three weeks.
The benchmark stock index nevertheless ended Friday with its first weekly decline in three as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across Europe stoked fears about more sweeping lockdowns. The index fell 0.8 percent for the week.
London and Paris, Europe’s two richest cities, are again living under the shadow of state-imposed restrictions.
“This raises the very real fear that what is a stop-gap measure actually turns out to be something slightly longer term, which could see the collapse of hundreds of businesses,” CMC Markets UK market analyst Michael Hewson said.
The new restrictions could also stifle business activity, derail a nascent economic rebound and further pressure European stock markets, which have lagged a recovery in their US peers.
While the S&P 500 has gained about 8 percent this year, the European STOXX 600 is still down nearly 12 percent.
Adding to investor uncertainty, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that it was time to prepare for a no-trade deal Brexit unless the EU fundamentally changed course in trade talks.
London’s FTSE 100 still rose 1.5 percent, down 1.6 percent weekly, as analysts said the majority of market participants expected a deal to be reached.
In company news, Thyssenkrupp AG surged 10.8 percent as Liberty Steel Group, founded by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, said it had made a non-binding offer for the company’s steel unit.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE jumped 7.3 percent as recovering sales of Louis Vuitton handbags helped it contain the fallout from the coronavirus crisis in the third quarter.
Shares of other luxury goods makers, including Moncler SpA and Burberry Group PLC, rose more than 3 percent.
Telecoms and real estate were the only two European sectors to end lower on the day.
German shares gained 1.6 percent, clawing back more than half their losses from the previous session, with Daimler surging 5.5 percent after the luxury automaker posted forecast-beating third-quarter results.
MOMENTUM: While next-generation smartphones feature more semiconductors and vendors increase their inventory, the chipmaker remains focused on production in Taiwan Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the sole chip supplier for Apple Inc’s iPhone series, yesterday raised its revenue forecast again, saying that robust demand for 5G smartphones and high-performance-computing (HPC) would help boost revenue this year by 30 percent in US dollar terms. Three months ago, the chipmaker estimated that revenue would grow 20 percent this year from last year, reaching its long-term growth target of 15 to 20 percent annually. “Moving into the fourth quarter, we expect our growth in revenue to be supported by strong demand for our industry-leading 5-nanometer technology driven by 5G smartphone launches and HPC-related applications,”
WIN-WIN SITUATION: Customers, products and client portfolios of the companies are complementary, allowing for inroads into new fields, Chipbond’s chairman said Chipbond Technology Corp (頎邦) yesterday said it plans to acquire about a 31 percent stake in Orient Semiconductor Electronics Ltd (華泰電子) in a cash-and-share deal, aiming to make inroads into flash memory-chip packaging. Chipbond said the strategic alliance would open the door for the company to enter the flash memorychip packaging and testing market, which is a new business for the Hsinchu-based company. Chipbond primarily provides testing and packaging services for driver integrated circuits that are used in flat panels. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY “Except for flash memory chips, we also saw a lot of new businesses that require the technologies of Chipbond or Oriental
India’s COVID-19 economic gloom turned into despair this week, on news that its per capita GDP for this year might be lower than that of Bangladesh. “Any emerging economy doing well is good news,” Kaushik Basu, a former World Bank chief economist, said on Twitter after the IMF updated its World Economic Outlook. “But it’s shocking that India, which had a lead of 25% five years ago, is now trailing.” Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It