Coronavirus vaccine hopes, currencies, oil in focus

Stocks in Asia were set to open higher on Tuesday as hopes rise on a potential coronavirus vaccine after a positive development from a Moderna trial. Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese shares. The Nikkei futures contracts in Chicago and Osaka were both at 20,600, as compared to […]

Stocks in Asia were set to open higher on Tuesday as hopes rise on a potential coronavirus vaccine after a positive development from a Moderna trial.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese shares. The Nikkei futures contracts in Chicago and Osaka were both at 20,600, as compared to the Nikkei 225’s last close at 20,133.73.

Shares in Australia were also set to trade higher, with the SPI futures contract at 5,593, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,460.50.

Investors will watch for market reaction to overnight developments after Moderna reported “positive” phase one results for a potential coronavirus vaccine. The company said that after two doses all 45 trial participants had developed coronavirus antibodies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also said Monday that his country will provide $2 billion over two years to help other countries combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, minutes from the the Reserve Bank of Australia’s May meeting are expected to be out around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN.

On the economic data front, Japan’s industrial production print for March is expected around 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN. That comes on the back of a Monday data release that shows the Japanese economy contracting at an annualized rate of 3.4% between January and March.

Overnight stateside, stocks on Wall Street surged amid the optimism for a coronavirus vaccine. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 911.95 points higher, or 3.9%, at 24,597.37. The S&P 500 gained 3.2% to finish its trading day at 2,953.91 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.4% to close at 9,234.83. 

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 99.665 after falling from levels above 100 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.39 per dollar after weakening from levels below 107.2 seen yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6519, following its ascent from levels below $0.65 yesterday.

What’s on tap for Tuesday:

  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia minutes for May meeting at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Japan: Industrial production for March at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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