BROWSE

Asian markets set to track U.S. gains on vaccine, EU deal hopes

Asian shares were set to open higher on Tuesday after U.S. markets gained ground on positive data from trials of three potential COVID-19 vaccines and hopes that the European Union would finalize a recovery fund. FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus, walk past a screen showing Nikkei index, outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Athit PerawongmethaAustralian S&P/ASX 200 futures YAPcm1 rose 0.70% in early trade while Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures NKc1 were up 0.02%, or 0.47% higher than the Nikkei’s close on Monday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures .HSI HSIc1 rose 0.92%. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 slipped 0.08%. Early data from trials of three potential COVID-19 vaccines released on Monday, including a closely-watched candidate from Oxford University, increased confidence that a vaccine can train the immune system to recognize and fight the novel coronavirus without serious side effects. European Union leaders appeared to near an agreement on Monday on a 750-billion-euro stimulus plan for regional economies hard-hit by the pandemic. Also supporting sentiment were hopes for another round of U.S. economic stimulus after congressional Republicans announced plans to seek another $1 trillion in coronavirus economic relief. “Global equities kicked off the trading week on a positive note as vaccine hopes supported optimism,” Felicity Emmett of ANZ Research wrote. “U.S. politicians will begin discussing the next tranche of stimulus this week, and that’s going to be a key focal point for markets too.” The day’s news helped push the euro to its highest level in more than four months against the U.S. dollar, while the Nasdaq reached a new high - its seventh record in July. The euro EUR= was up 0.16%, at $1.1444, while the yen JPY= gained 0.27%, to $107.2800. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.03%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.84% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC jumped 2.51%. Tech stocks Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) provided the biggest boosts to the Nasdaq and the S&P500. MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.85%. However, worries about the pandemic’s economic and human toll pushed gold prices to their highest level since September 2011 on Monday. U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled up 0.4% to $1,817.40 per ounce. More than 14.58 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 605,782​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Oil prices were little changed on Monday. Brent crude LCOc1 settled up 14 cents, or 0.3%, at $43.28 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 rose 22 cents, 0.5%, to $40.81.

Comments are closed.