Researchers questioned data that showed a candidate from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca was 70% effective
U.S. markets were closed Thursday for a holiday. Asian stocks were mixed in subdued trading on Friday amid the resurgent concerns about the efficacy of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine after researchers questioned data that showed a candidate from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca was 70% effective. In turn, AstraZeneca said the company might conduct another trial. Against this backdrop, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.14% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.28%. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.4%, while Sydney’s S&PASX 200 shed 0.5%.
European equities opened mixed-to-lower, with investor sentiment dented by doubts in vaccine effectiveness. Also, market players exercise caution ahead of economic data due later in the day. Investors will focus on a survey on Eurozone business climate, consumer confidence, and economic sentiment data. In Germany, COVID-19 infections surpassed the one million mark and the daily death toll hit a record. The pan-European STOXX 600 dipped 0.1% at the start of the session but managed to erase losses and turned 0.05% higher in recent trading.
Meanwhile, the dollar extends the decline on Friday despite risk sentiment has deteriorated somewhat. EURUSD retains a bullish tone but refrains from challenging yesterday’s highs in the 1.1940 region. The euro is holding above the 1.1900 figure and could make another breakout as it looks like traders are not ready to send the European currency lower from the current levels. So, the 1.2000 figure remains in market focus.
In other markets, bitcoin is licking its wounds around the 20-DMA. As of writing, BTCUSD was changing hands just below the $17,000 figure following a strong rejection from fresh three-year highs in the $19,500 area seen yesterday. Now, as the digital currency struggles to regain the bullish bias, the further corrective retreat could be expected in the short term. Still, bitcoin remains within a broader uptrend and could retarget the $20,000 handle after a pause.
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