AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline headed in opposite directions on Monday, as the two heavyweight pharmaceuticals were in the spotlight over coronavirus news.
AstraZeneca AZN, +4.98% AZN, +6.39% rallied nearly 6% in London as traders eagerly awaited the publication of clinical data in medical journal The Lancet on the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine, which the U.K. drugmaker will distribute.
AstraZeneca shares have climbed over 12% in the last five days alone.
GlaxoSmithKline GSK, -0.21% GSK, +0.79%, meanwhile, weakened 0.2% as the U.K. drugmaker reached a deal worth up to £866 million to take a nearly 10% stake in Germany’s CureVac and fund up to five vaccines.
An AIM-listed stock, Synairgen SNG, +360.27%, jumped 370% after announcing positive results from a trial in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The odds of developing severe disease during the treatment period were significantly reduced by 79% for patients receiving its SNG001 compared with patients who received placebo, the company said.
The broader FTSE 100 UKX, -0.54% slipped 0.5%, the worst-performing of the major European indexes. Analysts at JPMorgan Cazenove noted the U.K. is by far the worst performing index in dollar terms this year — and in each of the past five years — though they now upgraded the U.K. to neutral from underweight.
The analysts say the worst of the fallout from the reduction in dividends is now over.