News & Analysis

Today in Asia – 17 November 2020

November 17, 2020

By Deepta Bolaky

Asian markets had a strong start to the week following the signing of the world’s largest free trade agreement by fifteen Asia-Pacific countries after more than eight years of tricky negotiations. The agreement binds together countries which make up of nearly a third of the world’s population or 30% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

On Tuesday, the Asia-Pacific region extended gains, buoyed by another pivotal vaccine moment which increases expectations that the coronavirus pandemic may soon come under control with a potential vaccine in the making. After Pfizer and BioNtech, Moderna Inc. announced that the Phase 3 study met the statistical criteria with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%.

As of writing, the performance in the stock market in the Asia-Pacific region was mixed as major equity indices pared earlier gains.

World Equity Indices (% Change)

Source: Bloomberg

In the Australian share market, the S&P/ASX200 has resumed trading at the normal time at 10 am (AEST time) today after a market outage has forced the ASX to close earlier on Monday. The ASX200 closed in positive territory and added 0.2% or 14 points to 6,498 points. The sector performance was mixed with the energy index being the best performers following the positive vaccine updates.

Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Unibail Rodamco- Westfield, the real estate company which focus on large shopping centers rallied by 16.3% on Tuesday following more promising news on the vaccine front.

Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Currency Markets

There was little movement in the FX market. Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar and major pairs remained within familiar levels.

Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Oil Markets

Crude oil prices continue to climb higher on another positive vaccine news following Moderna’s announcement. Amid the current lockdowns and social distancing measures, the news on the vaccine fuelled the hopes of the global oil demand recovery outlook. As of writing, WTI Crude oil (Nymex) and Brent Crude (ICE) were trading at around $41.66 and $44.21 respectively.

Other Notable News

The breaking news today was Tesla announcement to join the S&P500 on December 21. The electric-car maker’s share price rose by more than 11% in after-trading hours.

Looking Ahead
  • BoE’s Governor Bailey Speech and Ramsden Speech (UK)
  • Retail Sales, Industrial Production, and Fed’s Williams Speech (US)
  • GDT Price Index (New Zealand)
  • BoC’s Governor Macklem Speech (Canada)

By Deepta Bolaky

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