Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher on vaccine hopes:

Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Thursday as hopes for the development of a coronavirus vaccine competed with concern about rising US infections. Benchmarks in many cities including Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and countries like Australia all advanced. Investors were encouraged after Pfizer and BioNtech announced preliminary data from a vaccine test, one of a series being carried out by global developers. At the same time, the populous American states of California and Texas reported daily record highs in new cases. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.6 percent to 3,073.98 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.2 percent to 22,159.722. India’s Sensex opened up 0.9 percent while New Zealand, Singapore, and Jakarta also rose. Stock markets around the world roared back last quarter on hopes economies are pulling out of their deepest slump since the 1930s. Analysts warn, however, that prices might be rising too far and too fast to be supported by economic activity when infections are rising in the United States, Brazil, and some other countries. In China, two surveys this week showed manufacturing improved in June, adding to signs of a gradual recovery. A similar survey for the 19-country eurozone showed manufacturing almost growing again after widespread shutdowns. Analysts said that while the data pointed in the right direction, it shows that an economic recovery from the pandemic will be slow. The dollar declined to 107.44 from Wednesday’s 107.49 yen. The euro rose to USD 1.1264 from USD 1.1244. (AP) MRJ. 

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