Asia Pacific stocks mostly higher as investors watch coronavirus developments; Nissan stock plunges

  • Shares in Asia Pacific were mostly higher in Tuesday morning trade.
  • Shares of Japan's Nissan Motor plunged nearly 4% in Tuesday morning trade following a Nikkei Asian Review report that the firm's automobile business runs the risk of running out of cash over the next year and a half.
  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday unveiled the Republican coronavirus relief plan.
  • Multiple firms also announced Monday the start of late-stage human trials as the race to find a coronavirus vaccine continues. 

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mostly higher in Tuesday morning trade as investors continued to monitor developments on the coronavirus front.

Shares in South Korea led gains among the region's major markets, with the Kospi up 1.11% as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose more than 2%.

Over in Japan, stocks traded mixed as the Nikkei 225 rose slightly while the Topix index fell 0.11%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.71%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.33% higher.

The situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic likely continued to weigh on investor sentiment. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday unveiled the Republican coronavirus relief plan, which would include relief for jobless Americans, among other provisions. The U.S. currently has the most number of confirmed coronavirus infections and deaths globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Multiple firms also announced Monday the start of late-stage human trials as the race to find a coronavirus vaccine continues. 

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech said they began their late-stage human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine on Monday. That announcement by the firms came the same day biotech firm Moderna, also developing a leading vaccine candidate, said it began its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial.

On the earnings front, Japanese automaker Nissan Motor is set to announce its first-quarter financial results on Tuesday. Shares of Nissan plunged nearly 4% in Tuesday morning trade following a Nikkei Asian Review report that the firm's automobile business runs the risk of running out of cash over the next year and a half.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 114.88 points, or 0.4%, to close at 26,584.77. The S&P 500 closed 0.7% higher at 3,239.41 and the Nasdaq Composite outperformed, jumping 1.7% to end its trading day at 10,536.27.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.57 after declining from levels above 94 seen earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.31 per dollar after it strengthened from levels above 105.7 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7154 after rising from levels around $0.71 in the previous trading day.

Oil prices edged higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.3% to $43.54 per barrel. U.S. crude futures added 0.14% to $41.66 per barrel.

Here's a look at what's on tap:

  • Japan: Nissan Motor earnings

Source: Read Full Article