ASX Set To Rise As Oxford Vaccine News Buoys Global Markets

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

The Australian sharemarket is heading for a solid start to Tuesday’s session, with futures up 41 points or 0.6% after more good news on a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Dow was up 1.12% or more than 320 points at 29,591.27, the S&P 500 rose 0.56% to 3,577.59 and the Nasdaq closed 25.66 points higher at 11,880.63.

The ASX futures rise comes after the market had a solid Monday. But a slump in gold prices will hit the ASX’s gold sector.

The ASX 200 touched 6,594 in the morning, a new nine-month high then eased to a very tight trading range for the rest of the session.

It absorbed the $750 million raising news from insurer, IAG, as well as reports that Bega Cheese would be looking for a massive raising to fund a big dairy deal this week.

It closed 0.3% higher at 6561.6 points, up 22.4 points. The index has added more than 10% this month so far and on track for the best monthly performance in 20 years.

The solid gain expected here today is after Wall Street continued to rise into the final minutes of trading on Monday in the wake of the news from AstraZeneca and Oxford University that their proposed vaccine was between 70% and 90% effective (depending on how it is taken) – but more importantly less costly to produce, story and transport.

Last week, Pfizer and Moderna both reported study results showing their vaccines were almost 95% effective but they are more costly to store and transport.

Over the weekend, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals received US government approval for emergency use of its COVID-19 treatment which is not a vaccine, but a treatment for the early stages of COVID-19 infection.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.2%, and Germany’s DAX was up 0.3% The FTSE 100 in London was flat though as the COVID surge continues to hit confidence ahead of the government’s autumn spending review.

Asian markets were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.1%, but South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up half a percent and stocks in Shanghai added 0.2%.

The vaccine news saw an index of commodity prices touched its highest since early March as West Texas crude futures rose 1.44% to $US43.03 a barrel and Brent was at $US45.98, up 2.3% on the day.

Comex gold fell to its lowest in four months as optimism over vaccine progress drove investors towards riskier assets. Gold was trading around $US40 lower at 8am, down more than 2%. Comex copper eased a touch to $US3.28 a pound.

Iron ore prices though fell on cold weather in northern China (which sees higher sintering pollution curbs from local governments which reduces steel production). The price of 62% Fe fines delivered to northern China fell $US1.59 to $US127.24 a tonne.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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