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ASX 200 storms 2% higher: Big four banks jump on COVID-19 vaccine news

At lunch on Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is on course to record a very strong gain. The benchmark index is currently up 2% to 5,568.7 points.

Here’s what has been happening on the market today:

ASX 200 jumps on Moderna coronavirus vaccine news.

The ASX 200 is racing higher today after U.S. biotechnology company Moderna released phase one trial results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. The results showed that the vaccine produced COVID-19 antibodies in all 45 participants. Moderna is aiming to start a phase 3 trial in July. This has sparked hopes that an effective vaccine could be ready in the near future.

Big four banks charge higher.

The shares of the big four banks have all responded positively to this development. All four banks are trading notably higher at lunch. The best performer in the group has been the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price with a gain of almost 4.5%. Investors may believe the banks have overestimated the provisions that will be required during the crisis.

TechnologyOne results.

The TechnologyOne Ltd (ASX: TNE) share price is sliding lower on Tuesday after its half year update disappointed the market. The enterprise software company posted a 6% lift in both sales and profits during the half. This was driven by strong growth in its SaaS business once again. In respect to the full year, management expects net profit before tax to increase 8% to 12% year on year. Some investors may believe this growth doesn’t justify the premium its shares trade at.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers.

The best performer on the ASX 200 at lunch is the James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX) share price with a 10% gain. Investors have been buying the building products company’s shares after the release of a strong full year result. The worst performer is the Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) share price with a 5% decline. Investors have been selling the gold miners after demand for safe haven assets reduced.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.