Global stock markets react positively when different phases of human clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines begin. The average abnormal stock return on the first day of the trials is both statistically and economically significant at 8.08 basis points. The increase in the average abnormal stock return is threefold higher for leading vaccine candidates. The positive reaction is more pronounced upon the start of phase III trials, and it is also stronger for vaccine candidates developed by the U.S. and China.
COVID-19 vaccines and global stock markets