News & Analysis

Today in Asia – 19 November 2020

November 19, 2020

By Deepta Bolaky

Investors are stuck between buoyant vaccine updates and rising COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNtech announced more promising results on the efficacy rate. After conducting the final efficacy analysis in their ongoing Phase 3 study, their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, met all the study’s primary efficacy endpoints. The analysis of the data indicates a vaccine efficacy rate of 95%.

After a late fall on Wall Street, Asian markets struggled to find upside momentum as fears around the global surge in the coronavirus cases overshadowed the recent optimism in the markets.

World Equity Indices (% Change)

Source: Bloomberg

In the Australian share market, the S&P/ASX200 rose in positive territory in the final hours of trading. The index closed 0.3% or 16 points higher to 6,547.20. The sector performance was mixed with Information Technology and Financial Index leading gains with an increase of more than 1%.

Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Currency Markets

Amid a lack of catalysts, the price action in the FX market was relatively subdued. Major pairs remained within familiar levels. Safe-haven currencies were better bid against the US dollar. The British Pound and the Antipodeans currencies were among the worst performers in the Asian session.

Source: Bloomberg Terminal

On the economic front, the upbeat Australian employment report failed to lift the local currency. The Australian economy recorded a strong rise in employment and hours worked in October:

  • Unemployment rate increased to 7.0%.
  • Participation rate increased to 65.8%.
  • Employment increased to 12,773,900.
  • Employment to population ratio increased to 61.2%.
  • Underemployment rate decreased to 10.4%.
  • Monthly hours worked increased by 21 million hours.

As of writing, the Aussie dollar is buying at 72.93 US cents.

Oil Markets

Crude oil prices remained within familiar levels on Thursday supported by vaccines updates and mixed weekly reports. After a bearish API report where crude oil inventories rose by a much larger-than-expected level, the EIA reported an inventory level below forecasts. The build in inventory was more modest at 0.768M barrels compared to the 1.65M barrels expected. As of writing, WTI Crude oil (Nymex) and Brent Crude (ICE) were trading at around $41.52 and $44.13 respectively.

Looking Ahead
  • Industrial Production (Switzerland)
  • Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey, and Existing Home Sales (US)

By Deepta Bolaky

Disclaimer:  The articles are from GO Markets analysts,  based on their independent analysis or personal experiences. Views or opinions or trading styles expressed are of their own;  should not be taken as either representative of or shared by GO Markets.  Advice (if any),  are of a ‘general’ nature and not based on your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should therefore consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to your objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.  If the advice relates to acquiring a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) for that product before making any decisions.


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