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Jan. 31, 2021, 11:27 p.m. EST

Asian markets advance on positive vaccine developments

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By Associated Press

BEIJING — Asian stock markets gained Monday after coronavirus vaccine maker AstraZeneca agreed to increase supplies to Europe amid rising worries about the disease.

Stocks in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul advanced, while those in Shanghai sputtered after surveys showed Chinese manufacturing weakened in January.

On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 1.9% after GameStop, a video game vendor, and some other shares that were expected to decline were sent soaring by day traders. Other investors said hedge funds that bet against those stocks were losing money and selling other shares.

Markets were rattled by AstraZeneca’s /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN +0.89% announcement it would supply the European Union with fewer than half the promised doses. That prompted the EU to impose export controls. On Sunday, AstraZeneca promised to increase European supplies and start delivery earlier.

“Concerns around the pandemic seemed to return in full force as vaccine distribution and efficacy issues re-emerged even with the virus spread gaining momentum,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.

The Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.20% in Tokyo gained 1.2% and the Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -1.07% in Hong Kong advanced 1.9%. The Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.36% in Seoul added 2.2%.

The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.92% inched up 0.1% after two surveys showed growth in Chinese manufacturing decelerated in January.

Stocks were flat in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.06% , but gained in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.43% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.02% .

A purchasing managers’ index issued by business magazine Caixin declined to 51.5 from December’s 53 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 reflect activity expanding. A separate PMI by the official statistics agency showed similar weakening.

The data suggest China’s rebound “is leveling off,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.

Investors have bid up stocks in expectation the rollout of coronavirus vaccines would allow global business and travel to return to normal. But that optimism has been dented by new infection spikes and disruptions in vaccine deliveries.

On Sunday, the EU announced AstraZeneca has agreed to supply 9 million additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine to Europe.

The new target of 40 million doses by the end of March is still only half what the British-Swedish company had originally aimed for before it announced a shortfall due to production problems. The EU is behind the United States in vaccinating its 450 million people.

On Wall Street, anxiety mounted over struggle between hedge funds and day traders over GameStop /zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite GME -6.99% , AMC Entertainment /zigman2/quotes/200235402/composite AMC -3.78% and a handful of other stocks.

The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.77% dropped 1.9% to 3,714.24, giving the benchmark index its biggest weekly loss since October. The S&P 500 is still up 13.6% since the end of October.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.89% fell 2% to 29,982.62 and the Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.51% lost 2% to 13,070.69.

Investors also are watching negotiations in Washington over President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic aid package. Hopes for aid, along with the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep low-cost credit plentiful, have carried the S&P 500 and other major indexes to record highs.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 18 cents to $52.38 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 14 cents on Friday to $52.20. Brent crude , the basis for pricing international oils, gained 32 cents to $55.37 per barrel in London. It advanced 35 cents the previous session to $55.88.

The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.3697% declined to 104.68 yen from 104.75 yen.

/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 49.94
+0.44 +0.89%
Volume: 7.43M
April 9, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
40.74
Dividend Yield
2.74%
Market Cap
$130.55 billion
Rev. per Employee
$365,423
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/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
29,768.06
+59.08 +0.20%
Volume: 0.00
April 9, 2021 3:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
28,698.80
-309.27 -1.07%
Volume: 1.90M
April 9, 2021 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
3,131.88
-11.38 -0.36%
Volume: 1.82M
April 9, 2021 3:32p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
3,450.68
-31.88 -0.92%
Volume: 28.01B
April 9, 2021 3:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
3,184.54
-1.86 -0.06%
Volume: 0.00
April 9, 2021 5:20p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed
TW : Taiwan Stock Exchange
16,854.10
-72.34 -0.43%
Volume: 0.00
April 9, 2021 1:31p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed
ID : Indonesia Stock Exchange
6,070.21
-1.52 -0.02%
Volume: 0.00
April 9, 2021 3:00p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203755179/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 158.36
-11.90 -6.99%
Volume: 9.46M
April 9, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$11.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
$424,150
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200235402/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 9.42
-0.37 -3.78%
Volume: 29.25M
April 9, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$4.41 billion
Rev. per Employee
$43,642
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
4,128.80
+31.63 +0.77%
Volume: 1.88B
April 9, 2021 5:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
33,800.60
+297.03 +0.89%
Volume: 317.82M
April 9, 2021 5:15p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : Nasdaq
13,900.19
+70.88 +0.51%
Volume: 3.52M
April 9, 2021 5:16p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
109.6700
+0.4040 +0.3697%
Volume: 0.0000
April 9, 2021 4:59p
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