US Indices opened higher on strong economic data and vaccine optimism. The ISM Manufacturing Index hit a 19-month high in August based on strength in New Orders and Employment. On the vaccine front, AstraZeneca (AZN) and Oxford University launched a late-stage trial of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U.S., with hopes to have results later this autumn. There were also positive stimulus headlines, after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the two sides were making “real progress” in negotiations. The tech-heavy Nasdaq continued to outperform, lifted by Big Tech, on the back of strong demand expectations from Apple (AAPL). Both the S&P and NASDAQ 100 closed at new all-time highs by rising 0.75% and 1.5% respectively while the Dow rose 400 points off its intra-day low to close with a gain of 0.76%. European Indices had a wild session, rallying early before selling off in the afternoon. A late comeback saw the DAX and Euro-Stoxx close lower by 0.1%, while the FTSE was again heavy closing 1.8% lower. Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the government does not expect this year’s economic contraction to be as severe as the 6.3% it originally predicted. European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said he expects economic activity to rebound sharply in the third quarter, after a very strong July and less robust August. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy said it expects global trade to bounce back from the Coronavirus pandemic quicker than the financial crisis. Elsewhere the Euro sold off after breaking $1.20 while Oil closed 0.66% higher as strong manufacturing data sparked optimism over the economic rebound.
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