European stocks advance on global vaccine hopes; Travel stocks surge 6.4%

European stocks advanced on Tuesday, tracking positive global market sentiment as optimism grows that a coronavirus vaccine can be found.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.8% by the early afternoon, with travel and leisure stocks soaring 6.4% to lead gains while health care stocks bucked the upward trend to fall by 1.1%.

European stocks are following the positive trend set in Asia, where stocks jumped on Tuesday afternoon after American biotech firm Novavax9 said Monday it started the first human study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine.