The Oslo Stock Exchange joined markets all over the world in jumping on Monday afternoon, after “promising” news about the development of a Corona virus vaccine. Pfizer of the US and BioNTech of Germany reported good results from their latest phase of testing that indicates the vaccine can be more than 90 percent effective.
“This is the news everyone has been waiting for but no one dared to believe,” Bjarne Schieldrop, an oil analyst at SEB in Oslo, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). It sent share prices on the Oslo Stock Exchange up, with the OSE’s index rising by 4.35 percent shortly after 4pm.
Most importantly for Norway’s economy: oil prices shot up by 9 percent, to USD 43 a barrel for the country’s North Sea crude oil. That in turn strengthened the country’s currency, which briefly dipped under NOK 9 to the US dollar for the first time in several weeks. It was trading at NOK 9.03 at 4:20pm.
“Now we’re getting a very high degree of clarity that we’re closer to getting a vaccine,” Shieldrop told DN. That can restore demand for everything from travel to production and consumption, and help economies recover, but some analysts remained cautious.
“We’ve had news about similar developments earlier, but then there have been hindrances,” Kjersti Haugland, chief economist at DNB Markets in Oslo, told DN. “It’s maybe lying in our bone marrow to take on a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.” Olav Chen at Storebrand Asset Management, though, was positive: “This is clearly good news that’s been expected.”