Sector movers: Concerns around Covid vaccine rollouts drag on sentiment
News of setbacks for the expected pace of Covid-19 vaccinations, particularly on the Continent, but also further afield, potentially including in the likes of Australia, Canada and Thailand weighed on investor sentiment.
The trigger for those concerns was news that AstraZeneca would cut deliveries of its vaccines to the European Union in the first quarter by approximately 60%, while those to the likes of Norway would fall short of expectations by even more.
Indeed, the drug giant reportedly declined to provide Brussels with an updated timeline for the second quarter.
AstraZeneca had contracts in place to provide roughly 3bn doses of its vaccine worldwide in 2021, with time of the essence given the appearance of new virus strains which meant that lockdowns were having to be tightened substantially.
But it wasn't all bad news on the pandemic front, with US biotechnology outfit Moderna announcing that initial test results had shown its vaccine was effective against the variants of the virus detected in Brazil and South Africa.
And over the weekend, one of the top US health officials, Anthony Fauci, said the country was "very close" to approving another vaccine, from Johnson&Johnson.
"[I don't] want to get ahead of [the independent safety monitoring board] but I have to tell you I would be surprised if it was any more than two weeks from now that the data will be analyzed and decisions would be made," Fauci said.
So-called 'value' shares were lower against that backdrop, including Oil&Gas, Travel&Leisure and Life Insurance.
Weighing on the latter was the retreat in longer-term government bond yields as investors factored in the near-term hit to economic growth from slower-than-expected vaccine rollouts.
Top performing sectors so far today
Household Goods & Home Construction 17,274.29 +1.81%
Personal Goods 37,720.26 +1.60%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 16,789.27 +1.53%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities 4,931.74 +1.44%
Food & Drug Retailers 4,743.37 +1.06%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 4,912.62 -4.56%
Travel & Leisure 7,908.22 -3.43%
Construction & Materials 6,905.98 -3.14%
Oil & Gas Producers 4,841.23 -2.97%
Life Insurance 7,232.70 -2.68%