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(14 December 2020)DAILY MARKET BRIEF 1:Equities Boosted By Vaccine Optimism

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US stocks are set to open the week higher as futures on the three benchmark indexes are rebounding after a bearish week. Investor sentiment was boosted after the US had officially green-lighted the COVID vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. Market participants are also waiting for another stimulus package, which has been debated for months.

At the time of writing, Dow futures are up 0.55%, and futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 0.43% and 0.24%, respectively.

Last week ended in the negative territory as lawmakers couldn’t find consensus on the next stimulus package. The S&P 500 lost over 1%, for its first bearish week in three, while Nasdaq lost 0.7% for its first negative week in a month.

Equities are expected to bounce back this week on optimism surrounding Pfizer’s vaccine that was approved by the FDA on Friday. Also, the volatility will increase as the Fed will meet to update the monetary policy, while Tesla will officially join the S&P 500 index on Friday.

The Pfizer vaccine is rolled out in a moment when the US is experiencing a rapid surge in the number of cases and deaths. On Friday, over 3,300 people died with COVID, with more than 2,300 deaths being recorded on Saturday.

In the weekend, FedEx and UPS started to ship 2.9 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to hospitals, clinics, and other facilities across the US.

In Asia, stocks are mostly bullish in early trading on Monday, recovering some earlier losses that came despite vaccine optimism.

At the time of writing, China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.50%, and the Shenzhen Component has gained 0.48%. Investors are waiting for Chinese industrial production and retail sales data for November, due tomorrow.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.30% higher. South Korea’s KOSPI is down 0.28%

In Australia, the ASX 200 closed 0.26% higher. The Reserve Bank of Australia is about to publish the minutes from its latest policy meeting tomorrow.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index has lost 0.58%

The vaccines news is in the spotlight. US President Donald Trump, along with VP Mike Pence and other US officials will be offered the vaccine starting from today.

In Europe, stocks will likely open higher on the vaccine news, as futures on Euro Stoxx and German DAX are in the green.

On Saturday, British AstraZeneca, which is also producing a COVID vaccine, agreed to acquire US drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $39 billion. This will be the largest ever deal for the British company, which is seeking to diversify away from fast-growing cancer business to immunology drugs.

By Strategy Desk

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