FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus…
FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cambridge, Mass., May 18, 2020.

European markets were surging Monday in midday trading as investors embraced news of another breakthrough in the effort to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

Britain’s benchmark FTSE index was up 1.7%. The CAC-40 in France climbed 2.3%  and Germany’s DAX index was up just over one percent.   

Europe’s indices soared on news from U.S.-based drug maker Moderna that its experimental coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective, based on preliminary data from its late-stage clinical trial. The Moderna vaccine is the second such potential vaccine to reach this milestone, following a joint initiative by U.S.-based Pfizer and German-based BioNTech announced just last week. The coronavirus causes the COVID-19 disease.

Markets in the Asia-Pacific rim began the week with a strong start earlier Monday following good economic news from Japan and China.    

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index closed just over 2% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 1.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX index gained 1.2%. The KOSPI index finished 1.9% higher, and Taiwan’s TSEC was up 2.1%    

Japan’s government announced Monday that the world’s third-largest economy grew at an annual pace of 21% in the third quarter spanning from July to September, while Beijing announced that its factory output rose a better-than-expected 6.9% in October compared to a year earlier.  

In commodities trading, gold was selling at $1,876.10, down 0.5%.  U.S. crude oil was selling at $41.87 per barrel, up 4.3%, and Brent crude was selling at $44.40 per barrel, up 3.7%.    

In futures trading, the Dow and the S&P 500 were trending positively, while the Nasdaq was slightly lower as investors awaited Wall Street’s opening bell.