Asian Stocks Fall over Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Hiccup

Asian Stocks Fall over Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Hiccup

Asia Pacific stocks were generally down on Tuesday morning, with investors processing a setback in the advancement towards a COVID-19 vaccine.

Asia Pacific stocks were generally down on Tuesday morning, with investors processing a setback in the advancement towards a COVID-19 vaccine.


Designer at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said on Monday that an unexplained sickness in a participant caused it to temporarily stop its vaccine study. The setback follows AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) ending clinical preliminaries for its candidate AZD-1222, which it is co-creating with the University of Oxford, at the beginning of September. Although clinical preliminaries have continued in the U.K., Brazil, South Africa, India and Japan, AstraZeneca's trials are yet to continue in the U.S. 


The Johnson & Johnson news comes after U.S. markets closed higher for a fourth day, with the NASDAQ supported to its biggest advance since April by a surge in tech stocks -, Apple Inc and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN). 


Apple shares (NASDAQ:AAPL) surged 6.4% on Wall Street on Monday ahead of the expected debut of the company's most recent iPhone, while Amazon saw its stocks jump 4.8% ahead of the company's Prime Day shopping event later in the week.


The setback, likewise, continues on pointing towards a bumpy road towards economic recuperation, with hopes after the most recent U.S. stimulus measures being passed before the Nov. 3 presidential election. Senate Republicans keep on dismissing Trump's proposal for a $1.8 trillion deal, and House of Representative individuals have been informed not to expect any activity during the week. 


“The hurdles at the moment come from the uncertainty around the U.S. election and the uncertainty about the timing and effectiveness of a vaccine,” AXA IM Core Investments chief investment officer Chris Iggo told Bloomberg.


China's Shanghai Composite was down 0.71% by 10:59 PM ET (2:59 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component edged down 0.13% ahead of the arrival of Chinese trade information, including exports, imports, and the trade balance, later in the day. 


The port city of Qingdao, likewise, reported a total of 12 new COVID-19 cases, its greatest group in months. Investors are also looking to a "crucial speech" to be made by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday in Shenzhen, during festivities to mark the city's designation as an extraordinary economic zone. 


In Australia, the ASX 200 climbed 1.18%. Canberra is looking for clarity from China about the last account for boycott of Australian coal imports, which has the relations between the two countries.


South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.46%, and Japan's Nikkei 225 crawled down 0.07%. 


Hong Kong markets were closed on account of a storm. 


U.S. President Donald Trump's physician Sean Conley said that the president has tested negative for COVID-19 for "consecutive days" on Monday afternoon. Trump is expected to jump back on the campaign trial and attempt to diminish the widening gap with Democrat candidate Joe Biden ahead of the election.


The hearings for Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, likewise, started in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. 


Across the Atlantic, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will lead the virtual annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, because of commencement later in the day. The meetings will conclude on Oct. 18.



Economic Calendar Highlights


  • U.K. Average Earnings Index +Bonus: 7:00am

The Average Earnings Index measures change in the price businesses and the government pay for labor, including bonuses. The Average Earnings figure gives us a good indication of personal income growth during the given month.


A higher than expected reading should be taken as positive/bullish for the GBP, while a lower than expected reading should be taken as negative/bearish for the GBP.


  • U.K. Claimant Count Change: 7:00am

Claimant Count Change measures the change in the number of unemployed people in the U.K. during the reported month. A rising trend indicates weakness in the labor market, which has a trickle-down effect on consumer spending and economic growth.


A higher than expected reading should be taken as negative/bearish for the GBP, while lower than expected reading should be taken as positive/bullish for the GBP.


  • Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment: 10:00am

The German Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW) Economic Sentiment Index gauges the six-month economic outlook. A level above zero indicates optimism; below indicates pessimism. The reading is compiled from a survey of about 350 German institutional investors and analysts.


A higher than expected reading should be taken as positive/bullish for the EUR, while a lower than expected reading should be taken as negative/bearish for the EUR.


  • U.S. Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) MoM: 1:30pm

The Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the changes in the price of goods and services, excluding food and energy. The CPI measures price change from the perspective of the consumer. It is a key way to measure changes in purchasing trends and inflation.


A higher than expected reading should be taken as positive/bullish for the USD, while a lower than expected reading should be taken as negative/bearish for the USD.



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