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Asian Markets Rise On Coronavirus Treatment, Earnings Optimism

asianmarkets dec19 12jul20 lt

Asian stock markets are rising on Monday following the positive cues from Wall Street Friday as upbeat coronavirus treatment and vaccine news helped offset worries about the surge in new coronavirus cases worldwide.

Gilead Sciences said Friday that based on new data, its drug remdesivir showed a reduction in the risk of death in coronavirus patients. In addition, optimism about the corporate earnings season beginning this week also lifted stocks.

The Australian market is notably higher following the positive cues from Wall Street Friday on upbeat coronavirus treatment and vaccine news. In Australia, scientists in Queensland said that a coronavirus vaccine developed by them could be ready for use as early as the start of next year, with clinical trials beginning today.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 76.40 points or 1.29 percent to 5,995.60, after touching a high of 6,004.40 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is advancing 72.20 points or 1.20 percent to 6,108.50. Australian stocks closed lower on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP Group is advancing more than 1 percent, while Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals are adding almost 1 percent each.

In the oil sector, Santos is gaining more than 3 percent, Woodside Petroleum is rising more than 2 percent and Oil Search is adding almost 1 percent after crude oil prices rose on Friday.

Among the big four banks, Westpac, ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank are higher in a range of 2.4 percent to 2.7 percent.

Bucking the trend, gold miners are weak after safe-haven gold prices edged lower on Friday. Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are declining almost 1 percent each.

Estia Health said it will record a non-cash impairment charge of between A$124 million and A$148 million in its full-year results due to uncertainty related to the coronavirus. The aged care provider's shares are in a trading halt.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6943, compared to $0.6930 on Friday.
The Japanese market is also advancing.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 318.39 points or 1.43 percent to 22,609.20, after rising to a high of 22,667.31 earlier. Japanese shares closed lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is rising more than 3 percent and Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher. Canon is gaining more than 3 percent, Panasonic is higher by almost 3 percent, Sony is advancing more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.4 percent.

In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by almost 3 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding more than 2 percent.

Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 5 percent and Toyota is rising more than 2 percent. In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is declining 0.6 percent and Advantest is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is higher by more than 5 percent and Japan Petroleum is advancing almost 2 percent after crude oil prices rose on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Mazda Motor and Alps Alpine are gaining more than 7 percent each, while Nikon Corp. is higher by almost 7 percent. JFE Holdings and NTN Corp. are rising more than 6 percent each.

Conversely, Eisai Co. is losing almost 2 percent.

In economic news, Japan will see May results for its tertiary industry index today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 106 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea is higher by more than 1 percent, while Shanghai, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are also higher.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday after Gilead Sciences said remdesivir showed a sharp mortality risk drop when used to treat patients suffering of coronavirus. BioNTech's CEO also told The Wall Street Journal the German biotechnology company's coronavirus vaccine candidate could be ready for approval by December. The upbeat treatment and vaccine news overshadowed the news that the U.S. reported a record daily increase in new coronavirus cases of more than 63,000.

The Dow surged up 369.21 points or 1.4 percent to 26,075.30, the Nasdaq climbed 69.69 points or 0.7 percent to 10,617.44 and the S&P 500 jumped 32.99 points or 1.1 percent to 3,185.04.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Friday. While the German DAX Index surged up by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.8 percent.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday, rebounding well after recent losses, thanks to an upward revision energy demand forecast by the International Energy Agency or IEA. WTI crude for August rose $0.93 or about 2.4 percent to $40.55 a barrel.

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