January 2021
4:31 AM IST
News Headlines
Unlucky Kerala shares spoil with Jamshedpur        England team lands in Chennai, Indians arrive in batches for first two tests        Israel military revising operational plans against Iran        France's Sanofi to boost Pfizer vaccine supply amid EU shortages        Hero MotoCorp to commence its operations in Mexico soon        GHIAL to raise US $300 Mn through bond issue for Hyderabad airport expansion        Cabinet approves MSP of Copra for 2021 season        Rajnath speaks to his US counterpart, the two NSAs also talk, Indo-US ties to deepen further        RJD should cancel it's proposed human chain in view of Republic Day violence: Sushil        Two farmer unions withdraw from protest against farm laws        One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India in just 6 days: Health ministry        England near Sri Lanka's 1st innings total after Root's 186        Srikanth resumes training after BAI gets mandatory quarantine time reduced        Melbourne century very special as it was crucial for series victory, says Rahane        FinMin allocates Rs 660 cr additional funds to MP for capex        Markets may remain volatile in holiday-shortened week: Analysts        US condemns Russia's use of harsh tactics against protesters, journalists        Egypt says it has launched vaccination against coronavirus        Qureshi says Pakistan ready to work with new US administration        MP government trying to crush farmers' voice: Kamal Nath        
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Business News
Asian shares mostly higher as focus shifts to virus recovery
Tokyo, Nov 11 (AP) Shares were mostly higher Wednesday in Asia after a worldwide rally spurred by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will help the global economy return to normal.

Benchmarks advanced in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney but edged lower in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where new Chinese regulations focused on technology companies prompted selling in that sector.

The proposed regulations issued Monday for public comment give guidelines on how China's 2008 anti-monopoly law will be applied to internet companies. The announcement gave no indication operators are accused of wrongdoing but cited areas where regulators might look for problems including sharing of information and alliances or pricing services below cost to keep out new competitors.

As of midday, e-commerce giant Alibaba's shares had fallen 7.3% and Tencent, owner of the popular WeChat social media platform, had lost 5% and online retailer JD.com was down 6.2%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng lost 0.2% to 26,241.52 and the Shanghai Composite index declined 0.2% to 3,356.88.

But other regional markets were mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 1.2% to 25,197.68 and the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.3% to 6,419.50. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7% to 2,470.11.

On Wall Street, stocks downshifted on Tuesday after a powerful worldwide rally the day before. It was the second straight day that rising hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine pushed investors to reorder which stocks they see winning and losing.

Treasury yields and oil held onto their big gains from a day earlier or added some more amid strengthened confidence in the economy.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.1% to 3,545.53, after erasing most of an early loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9% to 29,420.92 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 1.4%, to 11,553.86.

The flashpoint for all the moves was Monday's announcement from Pfizer that a potential COVID-19 vaccine it's developing with German partner BioNTech may be 90% effective, based on early but incomplete test results.

Stocks of smaller U.S. companies, which tend to move more with expectations for the economy than their bigger counterparts, rallied again. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 1.9% to 1,737.01, finally returning to where it was in January. It's just 0.2% below its record high set in 2018.

Several areas of the market that have been beaten down through the pandemic and whose low prices make them look like potentially better values led the way. Energy stocks in the S&P 500 rose 2.5% for the best gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index, for example, though they're still down nearly 44% for 2020.

Big Tech stocks that carried the stock market through the pandemic, meanwhile, are suddenly facing more scrutiny for their high prices. Their stocks soared through 2020 on expectations they'll continue to thrive if the economy is in lockdown mode. But that's left their prices looking expensive even after accounting for their huge profits.

Amazon, which is one of those Big Tech stay-at-home winners, fell 3.5%. It also is facing antitrust charges filed by European Union regulators on Tuesday that accuse it of using its access to data to gain an unfair advantage over merchants using its platform.

Microsoft fell 3.4%, and Facebook lost 2.3%. Those drops have outsized effects on the S&P 500 because they're some of the largest companies in the index by market value.

The S&P 500 is already up 8.4% in November, helped by hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and clearing uncertainty about U.S. leadership after Democrat Joe Biden clinched the last of the 270 electoral votes needed to become the next president. Republicans, meanwhile, appear likely to keep control of the Senate.

Some analysts are speaking of a Goldilocks scenario where low tax rates and other pro-business policies remain while a more stable and predictable set of policies comes out of the White House.

Many risks remain, and the biggest may be whether investors have become too convinced about a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Coronavirus counts continue to surge at worrying rates across the U.S. and Europe. prompting some governments to restore restrictions on businesses.

The biggest downside risk remains COVID and how severe this wave is going to be," Craig Erlam of Oanda said in a commentary. COVID is impossible to ignore, particularly with cases soaring once again and deaths on the rise." With fresh help for the U.S. economy from Congress still undecided, pressure is on central banks to step up support for markets.

In fact, the end of this year could provide the perfect cocktail of widespread monetary and fiscal easing, combined with one or more vaccines," he said.

President Donald Trump's refusal to concede and cooperate with Biden's transition team is another source of uncertainty, especially as some Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rally behind Trump's efforts to fight the election results.

Still, optimism remains across markets.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.98% from 0.95%, close to its highest level since March.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 33 cents to 41.69 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 2.7% to settle at 41.36 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, picked up 28 cents to 43.89 per barrel.

In currency dealings, the dollar weakened to 105.02 Japanese yen from 105.31 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to 1.1825 from 1.1820.

Hero MotoCorp to commence its operations in Mexico soon
GHIAL to raise US $300 Mn through bond issue for Hyderabad airport expansion
FinMin allocates Rs 660 cr additional funds to MP for capex
Markets may remain volatile in holiday-shortened week: Analysts
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Customary 'Halwa Ceremony' kickstarts process of compilation Budget documents
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Rupee gains 6 paise to close near 5-month high of 72.99 vs USD
LT Foods acquires 30% stake in Netherlands-based organic speciality food firm
Asian shares mostly higher as Biden inauguration approaches
Draw inspiration from people 'who see the cup as half full': Nooyi to Indian students in US
Three UK partners with TCS to accelerate 5G network rollout
3 Adani Group-owned domestic airports accredited in ACI health accreditation programme
WhatsApp delays policy rollout to May 15
Strong startup ecosystem critically important for business: Nisa Godrej
Rupee recovers losses, settles 15 paise higher at 73.25 against US dollar
Big steel, cement firms operating as a cartel; need to place regulator: Gadkari
UP's New Excise Policy aims Rs 6,000 cr excess revenue next fiscal
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India urges WTO members to find permanent solution for public stock holding for food security
Fire in luggage van of running train doused in time in Kerala
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Israel military revising operational plans against Iran
 Tel Aviv: A senior general of the Israel Army on Wednesday warned that the attack plans against Iran
France's Sanofi to boost Pfizer vaccine supply amid EU shortages
US condemns Russia's use of harsh tactics against protesters, journalists
Egypt says it has launched vaccination against coronavirus
Cabinet approves MSP of Copra for 2021 season
 New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on We
Rajnath speaks to his US counterpart, the two NSAs also talk, Indo-US ties to deepen further
RJD should cancel it's proposed human chain in view of Republic Day violence: Sushil
MP government trying to crush farmers' voice: Kamal Nath
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