By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian shares were set to open higher on Tuesday after U.S. markets gained ground on positive data from trials of three potential COVID-19 vaccines and hopes that the European Union would finalize a recovery fund.
Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures () () rose 0.92%. E-mini futures for the S&P 500
Early data from trials of three potential COVID-19 vaccines released on Monday, including a closely-watched candidate from Oxford University, increased confidence that a vaccine can train the immune system to recognize and fight the novel coronavirus without serious side effects.
European Union leaders appeared to near an agreement on Monday on a 750-billion-euro stimulus plan for regional economies hard-hit by the pandemic.
Also supporting sentiment were hopes for another round of U.S. economic stimulus after congressional Republicans announced plans to seek another $1 trillion in coronavirus economic relief.
“Global equities kicked off the trading week on a positive note as vaccine hopes supported optimism,” Felicity Emmett of ANZ Research wrote. “U.S. politicians will begin discussing the next tranche of stimulus this week, and that’s going to be a key focal point for markets too.”
The day’s news helped push the euro to its highest level in more than four months against the U.S. dollar, while the Nasdaq reached a new high – its seventh record in July.
The euro () was up 0.16%, at $1.1444, while the yen gained 0.27%, to $107.2800.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 0.03%, the S&P 500 () gained 0.84% and the Nasdaq Composite () jumped 2.51%.
Tech stocks Amazon.com Inc (O:) and Microsoft Corp (O:) provided the biggest boosts to the Nasdaq and the S&P500.
MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets () rose 0.85%.
However, worries about the pandemic’s economic and human toll pushed gold prices to their highest level since September 2011 on Monday. U.S.
More than 14.58 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 605,782 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Oil prices were little changed on Monday. Brent crude () settled up 14 cents, or 0.3%, at $43.28 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) () rose 22 cents, 0.5%, to $40.81.
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