The Asian and Pacific Rim financial markets opened mixed on Monday. Regional traders are cautiously optimistic about a coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) vaccine soon coming into a picture.
The bottom line, it will take some time to produce, deliver and inoculate enough people to make a difference. Asian traders are also hoping that the United States Congress can finally agree on a second coronavirus fiscal stimulus relief package.
In Japan, the headline Nikkei 225 was struggling. This bourse is currently down 0.37 percent after being up at the opening bell. The Topix index, in Tokyo, was down nearly half a percent.
In Seoul South Korea, the Kospi composite index has reversed early gains to move 0.27 percent. Elsewhere in the Asian and Pacific Rim, the Australian S&P ASX 200 was up over 0.4 percent. Major mining plays were all trading higher.
Shares of Rio Tinto, Woodside Petroleum, Fortescue and BHP all moved higher this morning on the ASX 200. They are currently up two percent, 0.59 percent, 3.71 percent and 1.6 percent respectively.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index was down 1.67 percent and on the mainland in China, the Shanghai composite is down 0.38 percent. The Shenzhen composite and component are trading around the flat line early Monday morning.
Asian Sentiment Improves over Covid-19 Vaccine News
Traders are feeling fairly good about the news that a coronavirus vaccine is finally on the way. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna have applied for emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
These firms could be given the green light by mid-December but this news is being overshadowed by the surging coronavirus in the United States. The pandemic appears to be out of control. California is issued a state wide lockdown but some municipalities refuse to comply.
Also, the first doses of the vaccine have arrived in the United Kingdom fro, Pfizer. Their vaccine was developed with BioNtech.