The US dollar is sliding against many of its currency rivals to kick off the trading week, adding to the global reserve currency’s 2020 woes. The greenback may be in store for some more pain in international financial markets due to rallying equities driven by news that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is mostly effective. With a lack of data being released and the 2020 presidential election in the rear-view mirror, it is all about the vaccine.
On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing the highly infectious respiratory illness, calling it a “great day for science and humanity.”
Scientists were hoping for a coronavirus inoculation that would be at least 75% effective, so the developments came as a surprise to the broader market.
Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla told CNBC
I think we can see light at the end of the tunnel. I believe this is likely the most significant medical advance in the last 100 years, if you count the impact this will have in public health, global economy.
The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccineâs ability to prevent COVID-19.
The companies plan to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses this year and up to 1.3 billion doses next year. The vaccine will require two doses per person. They also plan to submit for emergency use authorization to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after compiling two months’ worth of data. This would be around US Thanksgiving since it began the trial phase in July. The companies further noted in a statement that 42% of the trial’s global participants came from diverse backgrounds, and there had not been any safety concerns yet.
Pfizer will soon initiate the logistics and distribution process. Reportedly, Pfizer will load suitcase-sized boxes from distribution sites in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Belgium in two dozen trucks per day, transporting approximately 7.6 million doses to nearby airports.
This year, the coronavirus pandemic has led to more than 50 million total confirmed cases, with a death toll of 1.26 million. The US leads the world in cases, with more than 10 million infections.
With a vaccine dominating international headlines on Monday, investors are sending stocks higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is homing in on 30,000, the Nasdaq Composite Index is up 1%, and the S&P 500 soared nearly 5%. As confidence in a wide array of industries climbs, traditional safe-haven assets are slumping, including gold and the greenback. Are they on track for a bear market to close out the year?
The US Dollar Index, which gauges the greenback against a basket of currencies, was flat at 92.24. The index is coming off a 2% weekly loss, raising its year-to-date decline to 4.3%.
The USD/CAD currency pair fell 0.98% to 1.2934, from an opening of 1.3027, at 13:27 GMT on Monday. The EUR/USD advanced 0.36% to 1.1919, from an opening of 1.1874.
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