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Sentiment buoyed by waves of vaccine news

(ATF) Hong Kong: Investors were emboldened by growing signs that a vaccine is inevitable and imminent with expectations the US central bank could announce more supportive measures after returning unused funds to the US Treasury.

AstraZeneca said in a statement its Covid-19 vaccine could be around 90% effective and a US Food and Drug Administration official said the regulator will in mid-December grant approval for distribution of the vaccine co-developed by Pfizer.

“Another Monday, another positive vaccine update and thus another cheerful news for bullish investors,” said Fawad Razaqzada, a market analyst at TF Global Markets.

“The key takeaway point is that we are getting ever closer to hopefully becoming immunised to Covid, which means life can return to more normal levels soon. As such, investors are continuing to shrug off concerns about the ongoing global surge in coronavirus cases and piling back into sectors that had been hurt badly by the pandemic such as travel and leisure.”

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.34%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index inched up 0.13% and China’s CSI300 leapt 1.25%. Regionally, the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index advanced 0.87%.

Japan’s stock markets were closed for a holiday.

The Federal Reserve said it will return the unused portions of the funds allocated to the CARES Act facilities in connection with their year-end termination. This gave investors the confidence the US central bank will take measures to support the world’s biggest economy as the Fed said it would prefer the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Asia Stocks

· Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.34% 

· Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index inched up 0.13%

· China’s CSI300 leapt 1.25%

· The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index advanced 0.87%.

Stock of the day

BYD Co Ltd rose as much as 9.3% after the company announced a surge in its October car sales volumes. Last month, electric car sales increased by 83% year-over-year to 22,045. It was 47% of total BYD brand car sales.

Umesh Desai

Umesh Desai is the Executive Editor at Asia Financial. Prior to this he spent over two decades with Reuters News as Asia Pacific Chief Correspondent in Hong Kong and Bureau Chief in Bombay. Before becoming a journalist Umesh was a credit ratings analyst with Moody's arm in India - ICRA. A chartered accountant by training, Umesh began his career as an equity analyst. His Twitter handle is @umesh_desai


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