Asia-Pacific Markets Up, As U.S FDA Fully Approves Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine

24/08/2021 The U.S. formally approved BioNTech and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, a move that could sway some of the unvaccinated to get a shot. The approval was announced Monday morning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), applies to people who are at least 16 years old. Equities markets in Asia are positively firm on Tuesday, with the FDA approval expected to boost vaccination rates and allay some concerns over COVID-19’s impact on the global economic recovery. MSCI ex. Japana share gauge climbed for a second day, aided by jumps in Japan as well as Chinese technology stocks. Chinese technology stocks rallied for a second day amid optimism over Tencent Holding ’s buyback; Tencent’s move to continue purchases of its shares also instilled some confidence in traders – the stock advanced almost 5% in Hong Kong this morning. U.S. futures nudged higher after American equities extended a rebound. Bitcoin soars to $50,000 again for first time in three months.

Oil steadied on after jumping more than 5% amid a global rebound in equities and commodities. Brent futures steadied above $65; up 0.20% to $68.88. U.S WTI firm 0.11% to $65.74

Gold rose to the highest in more than two weeks, climbing above $1,800, as the dollar weakened amid speculation that the Federal Reserve may delay scaling back its asset-purchase program. The bullion is now facing a test of its 200-day equivalent, with investors focused on the central bank’s virtual Jackson Hole gathering later this week for clues on further policy measures. Spot gold currently steady at $1801.
On the local front, on Monday, the All-share broke a three-day losing streak; the JSE gained 1.24% to 66,829 points and the Top-40 was 1.27% firmer. Miners and resources led the gains on the local bourse. Precious metals rose 4.6%, banks 2.01%, financials 1.71% and industrial metals 1.52%. Northam Platinum led the gains in the precious metals sector, risingup 7.88% to R205.05. Impala Platinum added 7.53% to R222.15 and Anglo Platinum 6.46% to R1,616.52. Rand up 0.7% to R15.14/$,
Yield on 10-year govt rand bonds fell 6.60 bps to 9.24%. Top-40 futures taking cue from global counterparts, up +475 points at this stage.

President Cyril Ramaphosa attends the inauguration ceremony of Zambian President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
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• Business State insurer says claims for unrest damage have hit R14bn
• 30: June Mining Production MoM, est. 1.5%, prior -3.5%
• 30: June Mining Production YoY, est. 21.1%, prior 21.9%
• 30: June Gold Production YoY, prior 44.5%
• 30: June Platinum Production YoY, prior 27.0%
• 9am: June Leading Indicator, prior 128.8
• 11:30am: 2Q South Africa Unemployment, prior 32.6%
• 9am: Constitutional Court to rule on legality of government’s refusal to honor a public-sector wage agreement
• Annual General Meetings: PRX NA

European stocks tracked gains on Wall Street, with UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s surging on takeover speculation. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.66%, led by oil and gas, and retail names, with the UK’s FTSE 100 up 0.30%.
Sainsbury’s surged 15% following a report that US private equity firm Apollo is considering a bid for the UK supermarket chain. Germany’s BioNTech jumped 9% after the US Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to its partner Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. The Dax nudged 0.28% at the close.

The S&P 500 Index staged its biggest rally in a month after Pfizer’s vaccine won full approval from the FDA and investors anticipated dovish tapering signals at the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole symposium on Friday. Wall Street closed higher on Monday; the Dow was up 0.61%, while the S&P 500 was 0.85% firmer and the Nasdaq saw out the session 1.55% stronger. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was up at 1.2567%, compared with Monday’s at 1.255%. Stock futures higher on Tuesday, after Monday’s record setting session. All three main benchmarks in the green: Dow futures up 0.20%, alongside the S&P500 firm 0.17%, and the Nasdaq’s 0.13% stronger

Here are some events to watch this week:
• Fed officials attend the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium from Thursday through Saturday
• U.S. GDP, initial jobless claims Thursday
• July U.S. personal income and spending data Friday. Investors will scrutinize the personal consumption expenditures price index, an inflation measure closely watched by the Fed.

Japanese shares rose, tracking Wall Street’s strong finish overnight, as heavyweights SoftBank Group and chip-related stocks jumped along with energy and transport sectors.The Nikkei share average advanced to 1.03%.
Australia shares rose with the materials sector dominating gains on higher commodity prices and as investors took comfort from a raft of strong corporate earnings, signalling an economic recovery from the pandemic fallout.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.37%. The Shanghai Composite was up 1%, alongside the Hang Seng gaining 1.60%