Hong Kong Rises on Pfizer Optimism

Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Tuesday trade, with Hong Kong stocks leading gains among the region’s major markets. That came after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped to a record closing high overnight following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The Nikkei 225 jumped 237.86 points, or 0.9%, to 27,732.10, as shares of conglomerate Softbank Group surged about 2%.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.76 per U.S. dollar, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index soared 618.33 points, or 2.5%, to 25,727.92, with shares of Chinese tech firms listed in the city jumping: internet titan Tencent rose 8.8% while Meituan soared 13.5% and Alibaba advanced 9.5%.

Meanwhile, automaker BYD’s semiconductor business was among 40 IPOs which were suspended as China’s bourses investigate intermediaries in those deals. Still, shares of BYD in Hong Kong gained 1.6% on Tuesday.

Stateside, markets rose as Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine became the first in the U.S. on Monday to be granted full approval by the Food and Drug Administration, clearing the path for more vaccine mandates.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7227, still off levels above $0.729 seen last week.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 vaulted 52.51 points, or 1.1%, to 4,888.39.

In Korea, the Kospi index churned up 48.09 points, or 1.6%, to 3,107.62

In Singapore, the Straits Times recovered 20.06 points, or 0.7%, to 3,107.62

In Taiwan, the Taiex index took on 76.89 points, or 0.5%, to 16,818.73

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 eked up 7.79 points, or 0.1%, to 13,071.86.

In Australia, the ASX 200 strengthened 13.05 points, or 0.2%, at 7,502.98