Stocks up as vaccine shields against second-wave worries

Stocks up as vaccine shields against second-wave worries

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Sydney/Boston: The stock market rose on Wednesday as news of an effective COVID-19 vaccine seemed to save investors from worrying about a surge in infections in Europe and the United States, while kiwi rose because traders thought the central bank sounded optimistic.

MSCI s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.4% and Japan s Nikkei .N225 rose 1%, although most of the action was switching between sectors within markets, as investors shift from coronavirus winners into some of the hardest hit sectors.

Banks, for example, made modest additions to Tuesday gains, as did energy and some travel stocks while tech companies fell. Oil futures sat by two-month highs on anticipation of better demand in a post-pandemic world. [O/R]

The currency market was basically stable, and the kiwi rose 0.5% to a 19-month high after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept interest rates unchanged as expected, but it did not sound as moderate as expected.

Other major and fixed-income markets are mostly flat, traders are reluctant to expand the selling of safe-haven assets in bonds and yen, and a severe winter in the north is imminent. [FRX /]

S&P 500 futures ESc1 was not volatile, and Nasdaq 100 futures NQc1 rose 0.4% after Wall Street held another so far soaring sell-off by large technology companies. [.N]

“A rotation theme remains evident in equity markets,” said National Australia Bank strategist Rodrigo Catril in a note.

“Big tech, which has benefited from our virus-driven change in behaviour, is now falling out of favour while small-cap stocks and those that have been most affected by social distancing restrictions have outperformed.”

After European authorities filed an antitrust lawsuit against the online retail giant, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN.O was also under pressure overnight. Although it has risen by 64% this year, it has experienced its biggest two-day decline since March, down 8%.

Hang Seng. HSI traded in Hong Kong on Wednesday. As the rise in financial stocks was offset by declines in technology stocks such as Tencent 0700.HK and Alibaba 9988.HK, the closing price of the Hang Seng Index was slightly lower than flat. [.HK]

In Tokyo, as the enthusiasm for buying airlines gradually weakened, industrial companies led the charge. [.T]

Among Australian banks, .AXFJ made a small gain, while camping equipment retailers, the dear Afterpay APT.AX and Dominos Pizza DMP.AX, which paid immediately, expanded their losses. [. ax]

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