Indian Shares Set To Open Higher On Vaccine Hopes

(RTTNews) – Indian shares are likely to open higher on Monday as hopes for imminent coronavirus vaccines offset concerns over renewed lockdowns in several countries.

India’s health minister Harsh Vardhan told a web conference on the pandemic that a locally-developed Covid-19 vaccine candidate could complete its final trials in a month or two.

The Centre is exploring the modalities of emergency authorization and usage of anti- Coronavirus vaccines pending completion of phase-three clinical trials and regular licensure.

A broad gauge of Asian shares hit record highs this morning, though trading activity remains thin amid a holiday in Japan.

Oil extended gains and gold edged up slightly as the dollar softened on optimism over a potential early rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

U.S. stocks ended firmly in negative territory on Friday as new coronavirus cases continued to surge and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended his decision to end several of the Fed’s economic support programs on Dec. 31.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.8 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite eased 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent.

European stocks advanced on Friday as investors looked past spiraling coronavirus cases and uncertainty over U.S. stimulus.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained half a percent. The German DAX and France’s CAC 40 index both rose about 0.4 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.3 percent.

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