The US dollar is weakening to start the trading week after another pharmaceutical giant announced a second effective coronavirus vaccine. The news lifted the financial markets across the board, elevating investors’ risk appetite. This led to a selloff in the greenback, almost guaranteeing that the buck is headed for one of its worst years on record.
On Monday, Moderna confirmed that its phase three trial data showed that its COVID-19 vaccine possesses an efficacy rate of 94%, prompting CEO Stephane Bancel to label it as a âgame changer.â The announcement was made as an analysis assessed 95 confirmed coronavirus infections among the trials 30,000 participants. The evaluation confirmed 90 cases of COVID-19 were verified in the placebo group and five were observed in the group that received its two-dose vaccine.
Bancel said in a statement:
Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible. All along, we have known that each day matters. This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.
The inoculation was developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Shares popped as high as 13% in intraday trading. The broader stock market rallied on the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallying more than 400 points by midday.
This comes one week after Pfizer and BioNTech said that they had manufactured a two-dose vaccine with a 90% effective rate.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told CNBC on Monday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will move “as quickly as possible” to allow Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines to be authorized for emergency use.
It was quiet on the data front at the start of the trading week. But there will be an injection of data, including retail sales, trade, industrial production, and manufacturing output, on Tuesday.
The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.14% to 92.63. The index is coming off a weekly loss of 0.1%, adding to its year-to-date of about 4%.
The USD/CAD currency pair tumbled 0.38% to 1.3080, from an opening of 1.3141, at 16:28 GMT on Monday. The EUR/USD rose 0.04% to 1.1843, from an opening of 1.1834.
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