Weekly news summary for December 11 to December 17, 2020

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Friday, Dec. 11, 2020: US Allows Emergency Use of Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, with the inoculation to be offered to healthcare providers and people in care homes first.

The move makes the US the sixth country to approve the vaccine, following similar decisions made by the UK, Canada, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico.

Monday, Dec. 14, 2020: UK Assets Rebound as Brexit Negotiations Continue

Key UK assets recovered on Monday after Britain and the European Union (EU) agreed to extend talks over a post-Brexit free trade deal once again, after missing the deadline on Sunday.

The pound added 1.5% against the US dollar to 1.3428, and gained 1.2% against the euro to 1.1049, while the FTSE 100 and domestic-focused FTSE 250 surged 0.4% and 1.4%, respectively.

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020: FDA Endorses Emergency Use of Moderna’s Vaccine

Moderna’s stock climbed 1.5% on pre-market trading on Tuesday, after its COVID-19 vaccine received a green light for emergency use from the staff of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), marking progress towards gaining a formal clearance to be administered to the public as early as next week.

The FDA staff stated that clinical trial results and safety data were consistent with the recommendations set in FDA’s Guidance on Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines to Prevent COVID-19, supporting Moderna’s evaluation that its vaccine had an efficacy rate of 94.1% in a trial of 30,000 people.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020: Eurozone Economy Recovers in December

The Eurozone economy showed signs of stabilization in December, despite fresh lockdowns implemented across the continent to control the spread of COVID-19.

Following a 45.3 decline in November, IHS Markit’s flash composite Eurozone purchasing managers’ index (PMI) recovered to 49.8 in December, settling close to the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020: Dollar Hits Two-year Low, Oil Up on Stimulus Hopes

The US dollar index dropped to a two-year low against its major peers, while oil prices climbed to their highest since March, as traders grew optimistic over monetary support to the market and a potential agreement on fiscal stimulus.

Brent crude oil futures were last up 1.1% to $51.64 per barrel, having reached $51.54 per barrel, its strongest level since early March, before concerns over an oil glut and the pandemic pushed prices down, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures added 1.4% to $48.53 per barrel.

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