Several insurance stocks saw sharp rises today, including Aviva and Direct Line

Insurance shares have risen sharply as markets reacted favourably to the announcement from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that it had developed a Covid-19 vaccine that was 90% successful in trials.

Aviva’s share price rose by over 20 points - nearly 8% - while Direct Line saw a 3% bounce. 

On the continent, Allianz’s shares were up over 10%, while AXA’s rose by a similar amount.

Global indices had already been experiencing an uptick in recent days following the outcome in the US presidential election being apparently clearer, with Joe Biden becoming President Elect.

But moments after Pfizer’s announcement, the FTSE 100 rose 4%. The more certain prospect of an effective vaccine brings hope that the economic challenges posed by coronavirus can be overcome sooner rather than later.