Market Close Nov 17

Rally pauses as infection spikes

Economic rebound potential keeps undertone firm; Risk to economic rebound ahead of vaccine distribution; Global cyclical recovery has positive implications for Asian stocks

Rally pauses as infection spikes
The yuan finished its domestic session at a near 29-month high on Tuesday, despite dollar buying by major state-owned banks in what some traders suspected was an effort by Chinese authorities to slow the currency's advance on the 6.5-per-dollar level. AFP file photo.

(ATF) Hong Kong: Asian markets paused on Tuesday as investors assessed the risk posed by the spike in coronavirus infections globally and weighed that against increasing optimism that vaccine makers are getting ready to launch protection against the pandemic some time in the new year.

More than 55 million people around the world have the coronavirus and experts suspect the real figure may be considerably higher than that. The official death count now is over 1.3 million.

“The fact that there is now light at the end of the Covid tunnel and an exit strategy from this health crisis and economic crisis has given investors plenty to cheer,” Fiona Cincotta of Gain Capital, said. 

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“However, it is also impossible to ignore the current Covid backdrop. Sharply rising cases, tightening lockdown restrictions could quickly knock the fragile economic recovery off course well before the vaccine is being widely distributed.”

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.42%, Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.21%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index inched up 0.13% but China’s CSI300 dipped 0.19%, Regionally, the MSCI Asia Pacific index jumped 0.7%.

US Treasuries gained from the safety bid with the 10-year yield falling 2 basis points to 0.88%.

But overall the regional equity markets are expected to benefit from a sustained economic recovery.

“An upturn in growth and a lag in policy tightening create a sweet spot for equities, especially with light investor positioning. We emphasize cyclicals while continuing to favour digital economy structural growth themes,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

“A global cyclical recovery has positive implications for Asian equities. The overarching macro theme for 2021 is a robust growth recovery as the global economy rebounds from the effects of the pandemic.”

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Asia Stocks

· Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.42%

· Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.21% 

· Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index inched up 0.13%

· China’s CSI300 dipped 0.19%

· The MSCI Asia Pacific index jumped 0.7%.

Stock of the day

Lenovo Group  rose as much as much as 5.8% after declaring interim earnings that showed a jump in net profit.

Asian markets Covid impact vaccines optimism yuan rises