Asian Stocks Pare Gains, Caution about Bets on Virus Vaccine

Asian shares pared their gains in choppy trade on Thursday as investors awaited further details on whether drugmakers can develop a coronavirus vaccine.

MSCI39;s broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan rose 0.06 to 609.41, which is near its January 2018 high of 617.12. Chinese shares erased early gains and fell 0.02. Stocks in Japan hit a 29year high.

Australian stocks fell 0.49 as a decline in copper prices hurt shares in miners. SP 500 stock futures fell 0.55.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures were down 0.58, German DAX futures fell 0.51, and FTSE futures lost 0.94 in a sign of a cautious start to European trading.

Oil futures traded near twomonth highs due to hope for a vaccine and a largerthanexpected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories.

U.S. stocks were mixed as investors switched back to technology stocks and away from economically sensitive sectors as they weighed COVID19 vaccine progress and the likely timing of an economic rebound.

The markets are waiting for more news about the virus, so it is difficult for investors to short equities, said Daiju Aoki, regional chief investment officer for Japan at UBS Securities.

These expectations can keep equities going for another few weeks, but there are still questions about the effectiveness of a vaccine and about U.S. fiscal policy. We could see a correction early next year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.08 on Wednesday, but the Nasdaq closed up 2, and the SP 500 gained 0.77.

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