Stocks surge as Moderna announces successful COVID-19 vaccine trials

US stocks were buoyed by the 94.5% success rate in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to ink fresh records. The news overshadowed the rising infection rates and hospitalisations currently being seen in the US with Moderna saying it plans to submit an Emergency Use Authorisation with the FDA in the coming weeks. The DOW rose 1.59% to close just about 50 points from a milestone 30,000 while the S&P and the NASDAQ gained 1.16% and 0.80%. Yield on 10Y USTs closed higher at 0.9061%.

Asian stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday on increased optimism that a COVID-19 vaccine may soon be available following the Moderna statement. The NIKKEI rose 0.41% while the ASX and the HANG SENG were up 0.21% and 0.03% respectively. The CSI was 0.21% lower however.

A 10% surge in the lira against the dollar last week did little to dent local demand as the currency’s rally petered out on Monday. Data from the banking regulator showed that foreign currency account deposits rose $1.5 billion in the first 3 days of last week as companies shored up dollars. Monday’s 0.7% drop in the currency continued with the lira down 0.4% in the early hours of Tuesday’s session.

Brazilian economists expect the economy to fare slightly better according to the latest central bank survey. End-202 inflation is expected to edge higher to 3.25% while GDP is expected to contract 4.66% from a previous 4.80% contraction. The real is expected to end the year at 5.41 to the dollar then strengthen to 5.20 in 2021.

Zambia secured a $110 million debt relief from EXIM Bank China that will see payments due between May and December 2020 suspended. The debt reprieve comes with Zambia having failed to get consent from bondholders on interest deferral and missed an interest payment on its 2024 Eurobonds. Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu however said that an IMF delegation should be coming at the end of November perhaps bringing some hope to the situation.