Asian stock markets rose on Tuesday largely on regional airlines, tourism and travel stocks as global investors welcomed advances in developing a coronavirus vaccine that boosted confidence in a global economic recovery.
Pfizer Inc said its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech SE, is more than 90 percent effective at preventing infections. This is the first successful result of a large-scale clinical study.
“If the vaccine is shown to be safe, effective and widely used, business will likely resume much faster, thereby reducing trust in digital facilities,” said Margaret Yang, strategist at trading firm IG, in a research report sent to Al Jazeera .
“The rally in the energy, finance and industrial sectors and a decline in technology shares reflected this expectation. A faster economic recovery and healthier labor market could point to less support from fiscal and monetary stimulus in the medium to long term, ”Yang said.
The Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 1.1 percent after hitting a 29-year high in early trading, and the Australian S&P / ASX 200 rose 1.6 percent.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 1 percent in early trading, but there was minor weakness in China as the CSI300 index fell 0.24 percent. MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan was up 0.12 percent.
Airline, travel and tourism stocks across Asia benefited from the optimism sparked by the vaccine announcement.
Qantas Airways rose 8.6 percent to its highest level since March, Japan Airlines rose 17.6 percent and ANA Holdings rose 16.4 percent.
Asia Pacific airline stocks were among the strongest winners on Tuesday [File: Daniel Munoz/Reuters]In Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific Airways shares rose 14.9 percent, their best performance since July.
In a sign of hurdles ahead of those seeking a medical solution to the coronavirus pandemic, the Brazilian health authority said Monday it had suspended clinical trials for China’s Sinovac vaccine after adverse health effects emerged .
“Markets will take off in the short term with the vaccine news, but in the longer term it seems like it will go higher,” said John Minnroy, advisor to Ord Minnett in Sydney.
Oil prices rose on the vaccine news too, seeing the largest daily percentage increase in more than five months as the vaccine news and an OPEC output deal fueled optimism about the recovery in demand.
However, part of this dynamic subsided in Asian trade.
US crude fell 1.49 percent to $ 39.69 a barrel during the Asian session, while Brent crude was down 1.25 percent.
Some analysts have expressed concern about the speed at which the vaccine could be implemented and are likely to keep energy demand low in the short term.
“The sooner a vaccine hits the market, the sooner we can return to a normalcy in our lives that would be constructive for oil demand,” said Dutch bank ING’s commodities strategist in a research report sent to Al Jazeera.
“Realistically, however, a widespread vaccine is still a long way off, which means the demand picture is unlikely to change in the near future,” Warren Patterson and Wenyu Yao said in their note.
Early Tuesday, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga directed his cabinet to draft a new stimulus package to revive the country’s ailing economy and offset the ongoing effects of the coronavirus.
The stronger performance in the Asian markets followed the positive overnight lead from the US and Europe.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.95 percent, the S&P 500 rose 1.17 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.53 percent. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.47 percent in Asia.
Pfizer’s announcement brought European stocks to an eight-month high, building on expectations for more stable trade policy after the US election.
While stocks rallied on the assumption that Democrat Joe Biden would be the next US president, the top Republican in US Congress on Monday did not recognize Biden as elected president and raised concerns about a gross transfer of power.
Senator Mitch McConnell said in a speech that President Donald Trump had the right to investigate charges of “irregularities” in elections but did not provide evidence of fraud.
The Australian dollar fell 0.18 percent against the greenback to $ 0.7272.
The yen was up 0.3 percent to 105.03 per dollar, while the pound sterling last traded at $ 1.3174, up 0.09 percent for the day.
Spot gold rose 0.32 percent to $ 1,867.6 an ounce.