Wall Street, coronavirus vaccine, currencies, oil

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SINGAPORE – Japanese stocks should rise in Friday’s Open after US stocks rebounded from heavy losses on Wednesday overnight.

Futures indicated a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,360 while its Osaka counterpart was at 28,440. This is compared to the Nikkei 225’s last closing price at 28,197.42.

Australian stocks rose in morning trade, with the S & P / ASX 200 rising 0.88%.

On Wall Street overnight, the S&P 500 rose 0.98% to close at 3,787.38 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 300.19 points to end its trading day at 30,603.36. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5% to close at 13,337.16.

Regarding the coronavirus, biotech company Novavax said its vaccine was more than 89% effective against Covid-19.

One study found that the vaccine appeared to be 85.6% effective over the UK variant. However, a separate Phase 2 study in South Africa showed that the vaccine is nowhere near as effective against a new strain ravaging that country. The company’s shares rose more than 23% in after-hours trading.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 101.25 million people, while at least 2.18 million people were killed, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, hit 90.537 after rising below 90.3 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen was trading at 104.24 per dollar after weakening below 104 against the greenback at the beginning of the trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7676 after falling below $ 0.762 yesterday.

– CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.