What to watch: Tesla surges in Frankfurt, easyJet slides makes first annual loss, and oil maintains gains

Kumutha Ramanathan
·Contributor
·4-min read
SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 6, 2020 - People view a Tesla Model 3 electric car at the auto exhibition area of the third International Import Expo in Shanghai, China, Nov. 6, 2020.PHOTOGRAPH BY Costfoto / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
People view a Tesla electric car at the auto exhibition area of the third International Import Expo in Shanghai, China in November 2020. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Studios/Future Publishing/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and around the world.

Tesla surges in Frankfurt on S&P inclusion

Tesla (TL0.DE) shares were up 11.83% at 10:40am in Frankfurt after gaining 13% in US after-hours trading, following news on Monday that the carmaker would be added to the S&P 500 (^GSPC) in December.

“It’s now less than 10% off its all-time high,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com. “Talk of possible inclusion in the S&P 500 was a big factor in driving the stock higher earlier this year and the disappointment of being initially snubbed left the shares down. Inclusion in the index will require funds to buy the stock.”

The news comes after Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX sent four astronauts into space.

His 20% stake in Tesla (TL0.DE) will take his net worth to $117.5bn (£88.9bn), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Musk is now poised to become the world’s third richest person in the world.

EasyJet slides on $1.27bn loss

EasyJet (EZJ.L) slid to a £1.27bn loss in the year to October, marking the first annual losses in the company’s history.

It had made a £430m profit a year earlier, but passenger numbers halved in the wake of the pandemic. Its board confirmed no dividend would be paid in light of the company's losses.

EasyJet’s final results published on Tuesday show its total revenues slid by 52.9% to just over £3bn. It launched the largest cost-cutting programme in its history, including cutting staff numbers by up to 30%.

It comes a fortnight after rival budget airline Ryanair (RYA.L) also posted its first summer losses in decades.

But the company said underlying demand was strong, highlighting a 900% increase in sales in the days after the UK’s quarantine policy for travellers was lifted for the Canary Islands in October.

READ MORE: Easyjet suffers first ever annual loss but bookings jump on vaccine news

Oil maintains gains

The benchmark Brent (BZ=F) crude price stayed above $43 (£32.50) a barrel for a second day as global market sentiment continues to be boosted following news of Moderna’s (MRNA) successful coronavirus vaccine trial, which the company says has a 94.5% efficacy rate.

The rally was less dramatic than last week’s when markets surged over Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, which was the first one to be announced since the pandemic hit earlier this year.

Brent (BZ=F) sat at $43.70 a barrel at around 9:10am in London.

READ MORE: Oil steadies above $43 on COVID-19 vaccine progress

European market momentum slows following a second COVID-19 vaccine rally

European markets had a softer open in early trading on Tuesday as the froth from Monday’s rally over news of another potential COVID-19 vaccine blew away.

Optimism over Moderna’s (MRNA) trial coronavirus vaccine — which the company says has a 94.5% efficacy rate — led markets higher, as had happened a week ago over the news of Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech’s vaccine candidate. Though this week’s rally was less dramatic.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was lower 0.1% at 8:15am in London. The DAX (^GDAXI) was flat in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 (^FCHI) rose 0.03% in Paris. The Europe-wide Stoxx 600 index (^STOXX) fell 0.02%.

US futures were also lower. The S&P 500 (ES=F) was trading 0.2% lower, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (YM=F) fell 0.1%, and the Nasdaq (NQ=F) gained 0.3%.

“The impact of yesterday’s announcement wasn’t as big for markets as last week’s though but it continued to fuel the rotation trade” said Deutsche Bank analysts in a note. “With similar technology to Pfizer (PFE)/BioNTech, expectations had already been raised for Moderna (MRNA). However make no mistake that this was very good news.”

Asian markets were subdued, with Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) rising 0.4%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) up 0.04%, and the Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) losing 0.2%. South Korea’s KOSPI (^KS11) fell 0.2%.

-With additional reporting from Tom Belger

Watch: EasyJet sees bookings build on vaccine hopes