European stocks stayed flat on Wednesday after a downbeat session on Wall Street, as doubts regarding a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate raised concerns about whether and how fast the world will emerge from this health crisis. Still, with a boost from healthcare stocks, SXDP helped the pan-European STOXX 600 compensate for its early losses. Wall Street fell by over 1% overnight after a media report questioned the validity of the results of Moderna’s vaccine trial, which helped the stocks soar high on Monday. The market recovery has been stalled in May, as investors are weighing the chance of resurgence in the COVID-19 cases as several countries consider restarting their economies after months of being in lockdown.
According to analysts, investors are just playing a waiting game, for now, to see how quickly each economy recovers. The European markets have made a Franco-German proposal for a recovery fund of €500 billion that would help bind all 27 European Union states to raise funds jointly in order to offer grants and aid to regions that have been hit the hardest by the virus outbreak. However, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated that a group of EU states would be proposing to fund the recovery efforts with loans and not grants.
Shares of British retailer Marks & Spencer gained about 4.0% after stating that it would speed up its latest turnaround program as it deals with the fallout caused due to the coronavirus crisis and reported a massive fall of nearly 21% in its annual profit. The world’s largest credit data company Experian Plc’s stocks also went up by around 6.4% as it also said that its executive directors would be taking a 25% salary cut for the next six months. AstraZeneca Plc also gained 1.3% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lynparza, created in collaboration with Merck Inc, as a treatment for a form of prostate cancer.