FTSE100 made a healthy start as oil shares improved on crude rising to US$71 per barrel. London’s blue-chip index rose 25 to 7.105.
The UK government has started talks with Oxford University and AstraZeneca (AZN.L) about a new version of thier COVID-19 vaccine that targets the South Africa variant of the virus. The extra doses would be tailored for this specific variant with the UK said to be funding trials of its development.
Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM) reported better than expected earnings overnight but was cautious about demand tailing off as people start to return to the office. Even so, the video conferencing firm forecast full year revenues of almost US$4bn, an increase from previous estimates.
Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels are going continental. Burton’s, the UK manufacturer of the iconic biscuits has been snapped up by Ferrero of Rocher and Nutella fame for a reported £300mln.
Among the small caps, Quantum Blockchain PLC (LON:QBT) has signed a service agreement with a cryptography expert. The goal is to speed up the Bitcoin mining process and save more energy.
Destiny Pharma PLC (LON:DEST) is making progress in preparing its lead asset for the final stage of clinical trials next year. The candidate reduces the recurrence of C.difficile infections in the gut, the main cause of hospital-acquired infection in the US.