Australia markets open in 9 hours 33 minutes
  • ALL ORDS

    6,848.80
    -39.40 (-0.57%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.7361
    -0.0003 (-0.04%)
     
  • ASX 200

    6,636.40
    -46.90 (-0.70%)
     
  • OIL

    44.95
    -0.76 (-1.66%)
     
  • GOLD

    1,811.80
    +6.30 (+0.35%)
     
  • BTC-AUD

    23,486.64
    -928.81 (-3.80%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    338.28
    -32.24 (-8.70%)
     

Asian stocks hold vaccine-driven gains

Lawrence Delevingne
·2-min read

Stocks in Asia are set to continue their gains, buoyed again by continued global stimulus efforts and hopes of a coronavirus vaccine.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 shares rose 0.29 per cent in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei 225 futures fell 0.2 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures rose 0.56 per cent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.01 per cent higher.

The gains in Asia came after a mixed performance for US stocks.

The Nasdaq closed up 2 per cent on Wednesday as investors switched back to technology stocks and away from economically sensitive sectors as they weighed COVID-19 vaccine progress and the likely timing of an economic rebound.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.29 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 29,397.63 and the S&P 500 gained 27.13 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 3,572.66.

The momentum of vaccine hopes and encouraging comments from European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde on continued economic support boosted European shares for the third straight session.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.08 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.05 per cent.

The US dollar rose and the safe-haven yen weakened again on Wednesday as markets continued to adjust to higher interest rates and prospects for economic growth.

The Australian dollar was flat versus the greenback at $0.728.

The New Zealand dollar was also muted in early trading after it soared on Wednesday to its strongest in a year and a half as traders scaled back bets the central bank there would move to negative interest rates.

"We continue to recommend positioning for a 'great hawkish shift' as it gradually shifts its stance away from the most dovish central bank in the G10 to a more balanced approach emphasising 'lower for longer,'" Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note Thursday

The euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar in a week as yields on US bonds rose compared with those on European bonds.

The US bond market was closed on Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day after the yield of benchmark US 10-year Treasuries on Tuesday reached the highest level since March.

Global oil benchmark Brent rose on Wednesday, briefly touching a more than two-month high above $US45 a barrel on hopes of a COVID vaccine that could boost demand and later pulling back on concerns about rising cases.

Spot gold was flat at around $1,865.06 an ounce.