Asia Morning: U.S. Market Sentiment Boosted by Vaccine Deal

Wall Street sign with a building in background
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 165 points (+0.62%) to 27005, the S&P 500 rose 18 points (+0.57%) to 3276, and the Nasdaq 100 was up 37 points (+0.35%) to 10870.


S&P 500 Index: Daily Chart


Source: GAIN Capital, TradingView


Investors were encouraged to see that the U.S. government signed a deal worth $1.95 billion with Pfizer (PFE +5.10%) and BioNTech (BNTX +13.72%) for 100 million doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, investors seemed to look past escalating tensions between the U.S. and China. The U.S. government demanded that China shut down its consulate in Houston, Texas, within 72 hours amid accusations of spying. Retaliatory measures from Beijing are widely expected.

Consumer Durables & Apparel (+1.76%), Consumer Services (+1.64%) and Utilities (+1.53%) sectors were the best performers. HCA Healthcare (HCA +11.97%), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD +8.40%) and Best Buy (BBY +7.84%) were the top gainers.

On the technical side, about 53.4% (51.8% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average, and 87.5% (77.0% in the prior session) were trading above their 20-day moving average.

In after-marker hours, Tesla (TSLA +1.53%) posted a fourth consecutive quarterly profit saying it earned $0.50 per share in the second quarter, against expectations of a loss of $1.06 per share. Microsoft (MSFT +1.44%) reported a fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.46 ($1.36 expected).

European stocks closed in negative territory. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.87%. Germany's DAX 30 dropped 0.51%, France's CAC 40 lost 1.32%, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was down 1.00%.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield slid further to 0.595% from 0.606% Tuesday.

Spot gold price surged a further $29.00 (+1.6%) to $1,871 an ounce, and spot silver soared 8.0% to $23.00 an ounce.

U.S. WTI crude oil futures (August) were little changed at $41.90 a barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude-oil stockpiles increased 4.90 million barrels last week, contrary to a reduction of 1.95 million barrels expected.

On the forex front, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index slipped 0.2% on day to 94.95, down for a fourth straight session. 

EUR/USD advanced 0.4% to 1.1569, the highest level since October 2018. Later today, the eurozone's Consumer Confidence Index for July will be released (-12.0 expected).

GBP/USD was broadly flat at 1.2734, after a three-day rally.

USD/JPY rebounded 0.4% to 107.19.

Meanwhile, AUD/USD gained 0.2% to 0.7142, posting a four-day winning streak. 

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