Asian Stock MarketsAsian Markets Gain Following Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine FDA Approval

A trader sits and watches the screen at the Shanghai Stock Exchange [Image: Bloomberg]

Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Tuesday trade, with Hong Kong stocks leading gains among the region’s major markets. That came after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped to a record closing high overnight following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 2.46% higher at 25,727.92, with shares of Chinese tech firms listed in the city jumping: internet titan Tencent rose 8.81% while Meituan soared 13.51% and Alibaba advanced 9.47%. The Hang Seng Tech index gained 7.06%.

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                                                                   Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, technical performance chart

Meanwhile, automaker BYD’s semiconductor business was among 40 IPOs which were suspended as China’s bourses investigate intermediaries in those deals. Still, shares of BYD in Hong Kong gained 1.6% on Tuesday.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher as the Shanghai composite rose 1.07% to 3,514.47 while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.878% to 14,663.55.

Reuters reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has began issuing new disclosure requirements to Chinese firms looking to list in New York, as part of a push to raise investor awareness of the risks involved.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.87% to close at 27,732.10, as shares of conglomerate Softbank Group surged about 2% in asian trading hours. The Topix index advanced 1% to finish the trading day at 1,934.20. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.56% to close at 3,138.30.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.17% higher on the day to 7,503 while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.82%.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.55% to 14,942.65 — a record closing high. The S&P 500 advanced 0.85% to 4,479.53 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 215.63 points to 35,335.71.

Those gains stateside came as Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine became the first in the U.S. on Monday to be granted full approval by the Food and Drug Administration, clearing the path for more vaccine mandates.

Asian Markets; Currencies & Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.016 following a recent slip from above 93.2.

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                                                                             Japanese Yen index basket, technical performance chart.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.76 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7227, still off levels above $0.729 seen last week.

Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.29% to $69.64 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 1.16% to $66.40 per barrel.

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