On Friday, major Asian centers were closed for the New Year holidays, while a handful of openers were mixed.
Australia’s S&P / ASX fell 0.8% to 6,632.10, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 0.5% at 27,271.40 points. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.3% to 3,458.71. Trade was closed in Tokyo and South Korea.
The Tokyo Exchange ended trading for Wednesday on Wednesday, with Nikkei falling 0.5%, and trading would not reopen until the following week on Monday. Global markets will be closed on Friday on New Year’s Day.
The focus has been on continued vaccine development worldwide, with China’s Sinopharma becoming the latest to encourage the latest study results. Investors are optimistic about receiving more vaccines in the coming weeks.
“Of course, I’m not the only person who was massively skeptical, but miraculously, we’ve made it into a piece about the line ending at the end of the year,” said Stephen Innes, AICC Chief Global Market Strategist of.
On Wall Street, stocks fell out of modest gains overnight, maintaining the major stock index on or near record highs on Wall Street.
Energy and materials companies gained. Industrial and financial stocks also showed significant impact. Small-company stocks again outpaced their larger rivals, a sign that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy.
The S&P 500 index rose 5 points or 0.1% to 3,732.04. The Dow rose 73.89 points, or 0.2%, to 30,409.56 points. The Nasdaq Composite rose 19.78 points, or 0.2%, to 12,870. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies climbed 20.63 points or 1.1% to 1,979.99 points.
From the last day of trading in 2020, the S&P 500 is up 15.5% this year, while the Nasdaq is up 43.4%.
The modest gains came as an effort to develop and distribute vaccines to fight the virus epidemic. The UK has authorized the use of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. The vaccine is considered easier to store and handle than others hitting the market. Earlier in December, the U.K. and the U.S. Both had approved a vaccine made by Pfizer.
Benchmark US crude slipped 12 cents to $ 48.38 a barrel in energy trading. International standard Brent crude rose 25 cents to $ 51.34 a barrel.
In currency trading, the US dollar was down from 103.33 yen to 103.09 Japanese yen. The euro costs $ 1.2308 from $ 1.2260.