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Last updated: 07/15/2020 06:54:08

06:54 AM EDT, 07/15/2020 (MT Newswires) -- As at 6.50am ET, European stock markets were broadly higher, following on from a largely stronger close in Asia overnight. News last night that a possible Covid-19 vaccine crossed a key milestone helped to boost sentiment. Moderna Inc's vaccine produced robust antibodies in all patients and was safe in an initial trial saw Moderna Inc shares rising more than 18% in pre-market trading. European drug makers were also boosted by the headlines, which helped to counterbalance news of new virus clusters and a new record number of fresh cases in California. DAX and FTSE 100 were last posting gains of 1.3% and 1.2% respectively. U.S. futures were up 0.5% (NASDAQ) to 1.3% (Dow Jones). In Asia the Hang Seng underperformed, but still managed to close little changed, while the CSI 300 lost 1.3% after U.S. President Trump ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status with the U.S. and said he has no plans to talk to President Xi Jinping. Elsewhere though, vaccine news underpinned markets and Topix and Nikkei lifted 1.6%, as the BoJ kept monetary policy unchanged and the door open to additional stimulus measures if needed. The ASX rallied 1.9%. The front end WTI future meanwhile lifted to US$40.78 amid hopes that the expected roll back in OPEC+ output cuts may not be as pronounced as feared.

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