Italian politics, vaccination challenges in focus


LONDON – European shares hit a high on Tuesday, with investors focusing on an emerging battle between vaccine maker AstraZeneca and the European Union and on political uncertainty in Italy.

Pan-European stocks 600 climbed 0.3% above the flatline in early trading, with financial services down 1.3% while travel and leisure stocks fell 0.9%.

British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca has accused the European Union of not enough to resolve the dispute over how many docks it will be able to supply. The AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency, but is expected to be imminent. AstraZeneca said last week that it was experiencing production problems.

In other Coronavirus news, Modern said on Monday that it was accelerating work on the Kovid-19 booster shot for the recently discovered version in South Africa. Researchers at the firm said that its current coronavirus vaccine works against two highly infectious strains found in the UK and South Africa.

Italian stocks will be closely watched on Tuesday as a new political crisis unfolds. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is expected to resign after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, and will try to lead a new mandate. The move comes after several weeks of tension between Conte and Mateo Renzi, the head of a junior coalition party in the government.

Elsewhere, US stock futures fell slightly on Tuesday morning as Wall Street prepares for the heart of corporate earnings season; General Electric, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson are slated to report results before the bell, while tech giant Microsoft will announce its fiscal second-quarter earnings after the bell. Shares fell on Tuesday in Asia-Pacific.

According to Refinitiv, UBS reported net income of $ 1.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 with UBS in mind on Tuesday, a jump of 137% in the first year and far above analyst expectations of $ 967 million. . The world’s largest wealth manager’s stock climbed 4% in early trading.

Biggest movers

Spanish utility Naturgy noticed that its shares rose more than 15% in early trading after the IFM Global Infrastructure Fund offered 5 billion euros ($ 6.06 billion) for a stake in the company.

The Swedish private equity firm dipped on full-year profit expectations and shares of EQT climbed more than 10% after it agreed to buy Exeter Property Group.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Rolls Royce shares fell more than 8% after the airplane’s engine maker revised its 2021 outlook amid fresh Kovid-19 travel restrictions.

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