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Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Sends Asian Markets Upward Tuesday

A currency trader works near the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 18,…

Asian markets are soaring in midday trading Tuesday thanks to news of a promising vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

Japan’s Nikkei index and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong are trading 1.8% higher, while Seoul’s KOSPI index and the S&P/ASX in Sydney have earned just over 2%. Shanghai is up 0.6%, and Taiwan is over 1% higher.

Asia’s huge gains are mirroring Monday’s big day on Wall Street, where stocks surged after U.S.-based biotechnology company Moderna said its initial tests for a possible coronavirus vaccine produced favorable results from a small sample of people. The company said it is launching a large clinical trial in July to determine whether the vaccine works.

But all three major U.S. indexes are trading slightly lower in Tuesday morning futures trading.

In oil trading, the price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude was $32.25 per barrel, up 1.3%, while the international benchmark Brent crude was trading even at $34.82 per barrel.