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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2022-02-22

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) +4% on successful cancer drug trial

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) shares climbed 4% on Monday after the pharmaceutical firm said that it had conducted successful late-stage trials for a new drug to treat breast cancer.

US stock markets were closed for Presidents’ Day on Monday, but AstraZeneca (AZN.L) was on the move in London after it said that it had conducted successful trials for a new breast cancer drug.

AstraZeneca, the British and Swedish pharmaceutical company known for its COVID-19 vaccine, said that the results from a late-stage trial for the drug Enhertu were a “huge step forward” for cancer treatment.

The news helped AstraZeneca to make the biggest gains on the FTSE index as its 4% rise by late afternoon saw shares changing hands for 9,153.00p.

With US stock markets closed for a bank holiday, European stock markets took the brunt of fears from investors about the potentially volatile situation in Ukraine.

The FTSE 100 was trading higher during the morning in London, but the blue-chip index slumped into the red in the afternoon and was down 0.3% late on.

Polymetal International (POLY.L) was the worst performer on the index on Monday as the Anglo-Russian miner tumbled 8.2% amid concerns that Vladimir Putin could launch an offensive in Ukraine.

Evraz (EVR.L), the British mining company part owned by Roman Abramovich, also struggled and was down 5.4%.

Shares were broadly lower in London despite new economic data showing that services and manufacturing activity rose in January, with the latest PMI index recording a 60.2 figure, an eight-month high.

While inflation is a problem, the UK economy appears to be thriving as Rightmove (RMV.L) also revealed that house prices have jumped 9.5% to an average of almost £350,000.

Meanwhile, in Europe, stocks also fell as France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX slipped by 2.1% and 2%, respectively, on Monday.

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