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Asia-Pacific stocks edge higher as optimism rises on Pfizer vaccine approval

Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.55% to 14,942.65 — a record closing high. The S&P 500 advanced 0.85% to 4,479.53 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 215.63 points to 35,335.71.

Those gains stateside came as Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine became the first in the U.S. on Monday to be granted full approval by the Food and Drug Administration, clearing the path for more vaccine mandates.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.995 following a recent slip from above 93.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.65 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.721, still off levels above $0.729 seen last week.

Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures fractionally lower at $68.71 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed about 0.1% to $65.59 per barrel.

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