Asian shares mostly rise on virus vaccine, Yellen hopes

24 Novembre, 2020, 15:42 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A currency trader walks by a screen showing the foreign exchange rate between US dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul South Korea Monday

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week that key pandemic lending programs at the Federal Reserve would expire on December 31, putting the outgoing Trump administration at odds with the central bank and potentially adding stress to the economy. That helped futures for the S&P 500 up 0.52 % in early Asian commerce whereas Japan's Nikkei was 1.eight % increased and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 1.11 % stronger.

The New Zealand dollar was among the currency gainers, rising as much as 0.9% to a two-year high of $0.6985 as its central bank said house prices, which have been storming higher this year, could be included in its inflation basket. Seoul's Kospi was 0.54 percent higher while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was steady, up 0.03 percent and Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) gained 0.85 percent.

Cyclicals led gains, with energy ahead by 7.09% while industrials and financials each rose more than 1%, as data showed monthly business activity expanded at the fastest rate in more than five years.

The S&P index also remains higher by around 11 points or 0.30% at 3568.18.

U.S. Treasury yields rose and the yield curve steepened as investors took encouragement from positive vaccine news.

Numerous companies making gains would greatly benefit from a vaccine allowing people to travel, shop and dine out.

AstraZeneca released an update on Monday, announcing that their vaccine has an average efficacy of 70% (a fair bit lower than Pfizer and Moderna's vaccine), although one regiment of vaccine candidates, those who received a half dose followed by a second full dose one month later, saw average efficacy of 90%. JPMorgan Chase rose 2.4%. Trading is expected to be light this week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, when USA stock markets will be closed.

Also Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve is to report on its latest meeting, though no surprises are expected.

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Earlier this month, US drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna announced that their respective coronavirus vaccine candidates were around 95 percent effective.

Last week, Pfizer and Moderna both reported study results showing their vaccines were nearly 95% effective.

Even with its weekly decline last week, the S&P 500 is on track for a 9.1% gain this month.

In company news, shares of drugmaker Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc jumped 5.7% in premarket trading after the FDA on Saturday granted emergency use authorisation to its Covid-19 antibody therapy. The drug, which Trump received when he was sickened last month, is meant to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms. They will reopen on Friday for a half-day session.

United States crude advanced 1.28 percent to $43.61 per barrel and Brent was at $46.58, up 1.13 percent on Tuesday, while an index of commodity prices touched its highest since early March. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, added 53 cents to $45.49 per barrel in London.

In currency trading, the US dollar edged up to 104.38 Japanese yen from 103.72.

The dollar index rose 0.22%, with the euro down 0.13% to $1.1838.

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