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Pfizer and BioNTech said they would submit their Covid-19 vaccine for emergency approval in the United States and the EU “within days” after new data showed it was even more effective than previously reported.

The vaccine was found to have a 95% effectiveness rate, according to the companies, the corresponding results released this week by vaccine rival Moderna. Both shots are expected to be approved before the end of the year, boosting hope the world will be able to turn a corner in the battle against the coronavirus.

The successful trials of coronavirus vaccines from Western pharmaceutical companies have reduced the market capitalization of Chinese rivals by more than $ 13 billion, fulfilling Beijing’s ambitions to lead the global fight against the pandemic.

Meanwhile, global debt has grown at an unprecedented rate in the first nine months of the year as governments and businesses embarked on a “debt tsunami” in the face of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new study. (FT)

Line chart of the Wind Vaccine Index of Shanghai and Shenzhen listed stocks showing Chinese vaccine makers affected by competitor's test results

Coronavirus digestion

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In the news

Thai protesters organize mass rally after night of violence At least 10,000 Thai democracy activists surrounded the Royal Thai Police building in Bangkok on Wednesday evening, marking one of the biggest rallies in the wave of unrest in the kingdom. Protesters wore inflatable rubber ducks – a new emblem of youth protests. (FT)

Protesters use inflatable rubber ducks as shields to protect themselves from water cannons © Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

Bitcoin Rises Above $ 18,000, Almost All-Time Highs The digital currency has jumped a striking distance from the all-time high it set three years ago, but some analysts have warned that further gains will leave the price ‘howling’ for a major correction. Is it a boom or a bubble? Adam Samson asks. (FT)

Indian central bank buys another regional lender The Reserve Bank of India was quick to reassure the country’s financial sector after taking over Lakshmi Vilas Bank, a struggling regional bank, in its latest round of bailouts of a collapsing lender. (FT)

Former lawmakers arrested in Hong Kong Police say they arrested former legislators Eddie Chu, Ray Chan and Ted Hui in incidents in May and June in which they were accused of attempting to use hazardous substances with intent to cause harm, mental injury or irritation. Meanwhile, concerns are growing over Hong Kong’s crackdown on the pro-democracy camp. (Reuters)

Pro-democracy lawmaker Ted Hui, right, speaks with reporters outside a police station on Wednesday. © AP

Growing list of Chinese companies defaulting on bond issue Semiconductor firm Tsinghua Unigroup, a Chinese state-backed group, is the latest to default on a domestic bond issue, undermining Beijing’s ambitions to build an “autonomous” semiconductor industry and further agitating the second largest bond market in the world. (FT)

US regulator clears Boeing 737 Max to fly again The United States Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday issued an order allowing the Boeing 737 Max to return to the air, clearing the way for other regulators to follow and airlines to restore the plane to their schedules. (FT)

Panasonic plans battery factory in Norway The Japanese group plans to create its first battery factory in Norway as it tries to build on its success by supplying Tesla to the United States to gain business from more European automakers. (FT)

Trump campaign loses Pennsylvania election challenge The Pennsylvania Supreme Court inflicted a legal setback on the Trump campaign, concluding that Philadelphia allowed poll observers to monitor the vote count in accordance with election law. Mr. Trump Tuesday night sacked the country’s top electoral security official after refuting the president’s unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud. (FT, AP)

Climate scientists laugh at Johnson’s green plan The British Prime Minister’s new 10-point plan for a green recovery is “far” from what is needed to get the country back on track to net zero emissions by 2050, climate experts say. Meanwhile, Keir Starmer has refused to allow Jeremy Corbyn to sit as a Labor MP despite Mr Corbyn’s readmission to the party. (FT)

In terms of emissions, the plan will probably make the biggest difference in transportation. New sales of gasoline and diesel cars and vans will be banned after 2030. © AFP via Getty Images

The day ahead

Brexit negotiations resume Talks will be held in Brussels with Boris Johnson still playing hard as Thursday’s EU leaders’ videoconference summit – seen by many as the deadline to seal a draft Brexit trade deal – draws near.

Turkey’s central bank meets Thursday marks the first monetary policy rally chaired by Naci Agbal, the new governor of Turkey’s central bank, whose appointment on November 7 triggered the departure of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s finance minister and his son-in-law Berat Albayrak. (FT)

Banks played a critical role in channeling government assistance to their communities during the pandemic. However, their financial situation remains difficult. On Monday, the FT will bring together leading figures from the industry, including Barclays chief executive Jes Staley, to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the banking sector. Register here for a free pass.

What else do we read

Why inflation might be on its way back Are we about to enter a new era of unexpectedly high inflation rather than below target inflation to which we are accustomed, asks Martin Wolf. Many reject this point of view. But the boy who cried wolf was right last time. (FT)

© James Ferguson

India my mother knew is becoming unrecognizable In the drafting of the Indian constitution, minorities and the disadvantaged were taken into account. But in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India, with its right-wing Hindu majority, the designed protections seem more fragile than ever, writes lawyer Marina Wheeler. (FT)

The future of antibiotic resistance In the future, even cuts could have fatal consequences, with drug-resistant infections killing 10 million people a year. Is it just a projection? The FT travels through time with artist Nina Dunn to see how we can stop the next global health crisis in a new video. (FT)

Video: Antibiotic resistance: a matter of time

Erdogan’s family drama and Turkey’s future The fact that the country is reeling from a government crisis that was also a family drama is a source of anger and shame for some who once worked alongside Recep Tayyip Erdogan – and a sign, they say, of how the country has changed during his time as president. (FT)

Beauty brands linked to abuse in the palm oil industry Indonesia and Malaysia produce 85% of the world’s palm oil, which is used in the supply chains of global brands such as L’Oréal, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Avon and Johnson & Johnson. AP investigation reveals the brutal treatment of women working in the production of oil. (AP)

Driver training for the post-Brexit border At a truck fleet in Ashford, Kent, language barriers and a lack of information hamper preparations for the new UK border, with hauliers in the crosshairs. The Irish prime minister said Britain and the EU could see “landing zones” for a free trade deal, raising hopes for a deal. (FT)

Pilot Pete Wallis © Charlie Bibby / FT

Covid-19 shakes the most expensive cities in the world Hong Kong, Zurich and Paris are now at the top of the list of highest cost of living, according to the annual survey of the Economist Intelligence Unit. Singapore and Osaka slipped to the bottom of the rankings, while most Chinese cities were pushed back. (BBC)

Luxury brands make inclusiveness part of their fabric High-end houses such as Prada and Gucci are hiring diversity managers in an attempt to address the lack of representation in their businesses. Luxury is well represented on our second annual Diversity Leaders List, but observers say the industry still lags its counterparts in the wider fashion arena. (FT)

Podcast of the day

The unraveling of the IPO of the ants The IPO of Jack Ma’s Ant Group would have been the largest in history: it was to raise $ 37 billion for a valuation of $ 316 billion. But a few days before the stock market listing, China canceled it. The FT’s Ryan McMorrow and Hudson Lockett report on what prompted Beijing to pull the plug and what that means for the Chinese private sector. Listen on, Spotify or Apple podcasts.

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