Asian Markets Rise On Stimulus, Vaccine Optimism

(RTTNews) - Asian stock markets are rising on Tuesday following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid hopes about additional fiscal stimulus in the U.S. Optimism about coronavirus vaccines also lifted the markets after companies announced the start of late-stage trials.

Pfizer and Moderna on Monday announced the launch of late-stage trials of their experimental vaccines against COVID-19 that could possibly clear the way for regulatory approval and widespread use by the end of this year.

The Australian market is advancing following the overnight gains on Wall Street. In addition, higher commodity prices lifted resources stocks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is rising 51.30 points or 0.85 percent to 6,095.50, off a high of 6,099.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 53.10 points or 0.86 percent to 6,222.70. Australian stocks closed modestly higher on Monday.

Gold miners are notably higher after safe-haven gold prices rose to an all-time high overnight. Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are advancing more than 2 percent each.

Among the major miners, Rio Tinto is gaining almost 4 percent, while BHP Group Fortescue Metals are rising more than 2 percent each.

In the oil sector, Oil Search is advancing more than 1 percent and Woodside Petroleum is edging up 0.1 percent, while Santos is lower by 0.5 percent after crude oil prices rose overnight.

The big four banks are mixed. Westpac is declining 0.3 percent and ANZ Banking is down 0.1 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is rising 0.3 percent and National Australia Bank is edging up 0.1 percent.

Westpac said it has provided information to Australia's financial crime watchdog, AUSTRAC, on more than 500,000 additional transactions in relation to a money laundering and child exploitation scandal.

Temple & Webster Group reported a more than five-fold surge in full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, while revenue jumped 74 percent from the prior year. The online furniture trader's shares are higher by more than 4 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday. The local unit was quoted at $0.7161, compared to $0.7132 on Monday.

The Japanese stock market is rising on Tuesday following the overnight gains on Wall Street amid optimism about additional fiscal stimulus in the U.S. and on upbeat economic data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 121.42 points or 0.53 percent to 22,837.27, after touching a high of 22,842.19 earlier.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is advancing almost 2 percent, while Fast Retailing is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron and Advantest are adding more than 1 percent each, following gains made by their U.S. counterparts overnight.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is declining 0.5 percent and Inpex is down 0.3 percent even as crude oil prices rose overnight.

The major exporters are higher despite a stronger yen. Panasonic is rising more than 2 percent, Sony is advancing more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.5 percent and Canon is up 0.3 percent.

In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are edging down 0.1 percent each. Among automakers, Honda is declining almost 1 percent and Toyota is lower by 0.6 percent.

Nissan Motor is losing more than 3 percent after the Nikkei reported that the company's automobile business faces the prospect of running out of cash over the next year. The automaker is slated to report its first-quarter results later today.

Among the other major gainers, Daiichi Sankyo is gaining almost 9 percent following AstraZeneca's deal with the company to develop and commercialize new antibody drug conjugate.

Tokuyama Corp. is rising more than 5 percent, while Cyberagent, TDK Corp. and Taiyo Yuden are all higher by more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Mitsubishi Motors is falling more than 10 percent after the automaker said it expects to report its biggest full-year loss in sixteen years. Hitachi Construction Machinery is losing more than 6 percent and Nitto Denko is lower by more than 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 105 yen-range on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is rising almost 2 percent, while Shanghai and Taiwan are advancing 1 percent each. Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong are also higher, while Indonesia is edging lower.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Monday, partly reflecting optimism about additional fiscal stimulus after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Republicans have finalized their new coronavirus relief legislation. Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday" the GOP intends to introduce the $1 trillion bill on Monday after delaying the planned rollout last week. In economic news, the Commerce Department released report showing durable goods orders continued to move sharply higher in the month of June.

While the Nasdaq surged up 173.09 points or 1.7 percent to 10,536.27, the Dow rose 114.88 points or 0.4 percent to 26,584.77 and the S&P 500 climbed 23.78 points or 0.7 percent to 3,239.41.

The major European markets ended mixed on Monday. While the German DAX Index closed just above the unchanged line, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both fell by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices rebounded after early losses on Monday as the dollar fell to its lowest level in two years. WTI crude for September ended up $0.31 or about 0.8 percent at $41.60 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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