European stocks closed slightly higher Friday as investors struck a positive tone on the prospect of an effective coronavirus vaccine.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed fairly flat after initial losses, with sectors and major bourses mostly finishing in positive territory. For the week, the index closed up by around 3.5%.
Pfizer’s news on Monday that the vaccine it is developing with BioNTech was more than 90% effective in a trial has helped to buoy sentiment this week.
However, mid-week traders worried that a rising number of coronavirus cases could hit the economy significantly before a vaccine arrives.
Stateside, U.S. stocks moved higher on Friday morning as investors bet again on stocks that would benefit from a potential effective vaccine and economic recovery next year.
In other news, President-elect Joe Biden is projected to win the battleground state of Arizona, extending his lead over incumbent President Donald Trump by a further 11 electoral votes and taking his total to 290.
On Saturday, NBC News projected Biden would win the presidential election after calling Pennsylvania for the Democratic nominee.
That pushed Biden over the 270 Electoral College votes required to win the presidential race. Trump has, so far, refused to concede the election.
Looking at individual stock names, Delivery Hero sank 6% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after revealing South Korea’s antitrust watchdog recommended a sale of its Yogiyo subsidiary to secure approval for its planned $4 billion takeover of food delivery app owner Woowa Brothers.
The German food delivery giant said it would not accept the recommendation.