ASX 200 up 0.35%: Moderna vaccine success, Afterpay update, Westpac upgraded

Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) shares are making waves on the ASX 200 on Tuesday…
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At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is back trading as normal and continuing its ascent. The benchmark index is currently up 0.35% to 6,508.3 points.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine gives ASX 200 a boost.

News that there is another potentially effective COVID-19 vaccine has given the Australian share market a boost on Tuesday. Overnight Moderna reported that its COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 during its phase three trials. This was even better than Pfizer’s vaccine which was shown to be more than 90% effective against COVID-19. Both vaccines are using mRNA technology. This is a new approach to vaccines that uses genetic material to provoke an immune response.

Afterpay annual general meeting.

The Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) share price is trading lower on the day of its annual general meeting. At the event, the company confirmed that Nick Molnar would take on the role of co-CEO with Anthony Eisen. Management also provided a brief update on current trading. Mr Eisen commented: “October was another record month for underlying sales globally and we are performing ahead of this in November. The growth of new customers is accelerating since the end of Q1 in both the US and UK as the pipeline of new merchants go live on our platform.”

Bank shares charge higher

The big four banks are all trading notably higher on Tuesday. The best performer in the group has been the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price with a 2.5% gain. As well as getting a boost from the vaccine news, Australia’s oldest bank was the subject of a positive broker note today. Analysts at Morgan Stanley have upgraded the bank’s shares to an overweight rating with a $20.40 price target.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 for a second day in a row is the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CDI (ASX: URW) share price with a 15% gain. This means the global shopping centre operator’s shares are now up 26% since the start of the week. The worst performer has been the Netwealth Group Ltd (ASX: NWL) share price with a 6% decline. This is despite there being no news out of the investment platform provider.

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James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Netwealth. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The post ASX 200 up 0.35%: Moderna vaccine success, Afterpay update, Westpac upgraded appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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