Asia Jumps on Hope for Vaccine

Stocks in Asia jumped on Tuesday as hopes rise on a potential coronavirus vaccine after a promising development from a Moderna trial.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 122.69, or 1.5%, to 20,433.45, as shares of robot maker Fanuc soared 4%.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.43 per U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 107.2 seen yesterday.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong advanced 453.36 points, or 1.9%, to 24,388.13, with shares of HSBC soaring about 3.5%.

Korean markets were on the move upward, with shares of automaker Hyundai Motor skyrocketing 7.8%.

The moves came following 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.

Meanwhile, minutes from the the Reserve Bank of Australia’s May monetary policy meeting released Tuesday showed that its Board "would not increase the cash rate target until progress is made towards full employment and it is confident that inflation will be sustainably within the 2-3% target band."

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6552, following its ascent from levels below $0.65 yesterday.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 moved forward 33.34 points, or 0.9%, to 3,956.25.

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

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi added 43.5 points, or 2.3%, to 1,980.61

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index leaped 42.05 points, or 1.7%, to 2,581.33

In Taiwan, the Taiex index popped 119.89 points, or 1.1%, to 10,860.44

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 32.21 points, or 0.3%, to 10,790.14.

In Australia, the ASX 200 zoomed 98.98 points, or 1.8%, to 5,559.52.