Reuters - Asia share indexes opened mostly higher Wednesday tracking Wall Street gains as prospects of an eventual victory against coronavirus shored up recovery hopes. Tight supply expectations pushed oil prices to their highest in a year.
Market participants were betting the incoming Biden administration would speed up U.S. distribution of coronavirus vaccines - which would allow large parts of the U.S. economy to reopen, Commonwealth Financial Network's head of portfolio management Peter Essele said.
"The amount of pent-up demand is slowly being unwound and over the next year it is probably going to result in one the strongest growth in 20 years and markets are pricing that in," Essele said.
"Right now, it's a race between cases and the vaccine and the vaccine will ultimately win out and the curve will flatten out."
Asia's open, however, was mixed with Japan's Nikkei 225 up 0.11%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% and South Korea's KOSPI 0.64% higher.
On Wall Street overnight stock indexes were little changed for the session and closed not far from highs. The Dow rose 0.19%, the S&P 500 gained 0.04% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.28%.
The 10-year U.S. yield touched its highest since March but tightened to near flat on the day after a Treasury auction was well bid. The yield had risen sharply this year on expectations of significant virus financial aid from the incoming Democratic administration.
Republican President Donald Trump might face another impeachment trial even after he leaves office Jan. 20. But analysts say they don't expect any further political activity in Washington to affect markets.
"Markets since the election have been quite strong because the uncertainty factor has been removed," Essele said.
In oil markets, Brent crude prices hit their highest since February as tighter supply and expectations of a drop in U.S. inventories offset concerns over rising COVID cases worldwide. Saudi Arabia said it planned to cut output by an extra 1 million barrels a day in February and March.
Brent was at $56.56, up 1.62% on the day, while U.S. crude was last up 1.76% to $53.17 per barrel.
Benchmark U.S. government 10-year debt last rose to yield 1.1325% from 1.134% late Monday. The yield hit 1.187% earlier in the session.
The U.S. dollar was down a day after hitting its highest since December and the tighter Treasury yields pushed the currency down further.
The dollar index fell 0.463%, with the euro up 0.45% to $1.2204. The yen strengthened 0.49% versus the dollar at 103.75.
Spot gold added 0.6% to $1,855.46 an ounce.