Asian Markets Closing Report: Airline shares in Asia-Pacific soar as investors react to positive coronavirus vaccine development
SINGAPORE — Markets in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday while airline stocks soared as investors in the region reacted to positive developments overnight on the coronavirus vaccine front.
China’s consumer price index rose 0.5% in October from a year ago, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, as compared to expectations for a 0.8% increase in a Reuters poll. The producer price index for China declined 2.1% year-on-year in October, close to expectations in a Reuters poll of a 2% slip.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was slightly higher.
Shares of airlines in Asia-Pacific surged in Tuesday trade. The sector has been among those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic as a result of travel restrictions.
Over in Hong Kong, shares of Cathay Pacific popped 13.7% while China Eastern Airlines rose 8.23%, as of their final hour of trading. Singapore Airlines shares in Singapore soared 13.41% in afternoon trade.
Investor focus on Tuesday was likely on Pfizer and BioNTech’s Monday announcement that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among those without evidence of prior infection.
The reported efficacy rate was higher than expected, with scientists hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective, while White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said one that is 50% or 60% effective would be acceptable.
Markets stateside surged on that news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 834.57 points higher at 29,157.97 — its biggest one-day gain since June 5. The S&P 500 gained 1.2% to finish its trading day at 3,550.50. The Nasdaq Composite, on the other hand, slipped 1.5% to close at 11,713.78.
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