Asian Stocks Set for Gains; Dollar, Yields Rise: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks looked poised to open mostly higher on Tuesday as investors bet on a return to normal economic activity amid vaccine progress. The dollar gained and Treasury yields rose.

Futures pointed higher in Japan and Australia, though Hong Kong contracts slipped. The S&P 500 Index saw modest gains, while tech shares lagged and small caps jumped. AstraZeneca Plc became the latest firm to deliver positive vaccine developments, bolstering demand for cruise-line operators and airlines. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden willnominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury Secretary, aiding sentiment. Gold retreated and oil advanced.

The latest vaccine successes have added to a risk-on mood in markets and investors have snapped up assets that could benefit from the end of lockdowns even as the virus rages across the U.S. and Europe. Traders have also started to anticipate Congress will again deliver a spending bill to stave off the economic effects of new restrictions aimed at slowing the virus.

A Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca prevented a majority of people from getting the disease in a large trial and the rollout could begin next month. The vaccine stopped an average of 70% of participants from falling ill, an early analysis of the data show. The effectiveness rose to 90% for one of two regimens, close to the high bar set by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.

“Having that end date on the calendar, with what looks like possibly three effective vaccines defines the bottom,” Brent Schutte, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Chief Investment Strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I think investors will come in and buy the dip, and I do think you will continue to have the rotation to those value names, small-cap names, things that are leveraged to the economic cycle.”

Here are some key events coming up:

  • Minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting are due Wednesday.
  • U.S. jobless claims, GDP and personal spending data come Wednesday.
  • U.K. expected on Wednesday to deliver the government’s spending plans for next year.
  • Thursday sees a policy decision and briefing from the Bank of Korea.
  • U.S. celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
  • The week ends with Black Friday, the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.6%.
  • Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.6% in Singapore.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures gained 0.5%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index contracts fell 0.2% earlier.

Currencies

  • The yen depreciated 0.7% to 104.59 per dollar.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index increased 0.2%.
  • The offshore yuan fell 0.5% to 6.5831 per dollar.
  • The euro dipped 0.2% to $1.1839.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose three basis points to 0.86%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.2% to $42.91 a barrel.
  • Gold depreciated 1.9% to $1,836.05 an ounce.

— With assistance by Kamaron Leach

Source: Read Full Article