The Hong Kong stock market finished session higher on Tuesday, 24 November 2020, as progress in developing an inexpensive coronavirus vaccine boosted hopes of a swift recovery, while a formal transition approval for US President-elect Joe Biden also lifted sentiment.
At closing bell, the benchmark Hang Seng Index added 0.13%, or 34.66 points, to 26,486.20, the highest since 5 March 2020. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index grew 1.07%, or 113.18 points, to 10,666.53.
Vaccine excitement continues to support global markets. Overnight, British company Astrazeneca with partner Oxford University became the third vaccine maker this month to show better than expected efficacy in trials. The company showed its vaccine had up to 90% efficacy in protecting against COVID.
While this isn't as effective as peers Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, the vaccine is cheaper to make, easier to transport and intends to be sold at cost during the pandemic. Both Pfizer and Moderna intend to sell their vaccines at profit.
Stocks also got a boost after US President-elect Joe Biden received approval to begin the transition to the White House and after a report that he would pick former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be the next Treasury secretary.
Alibaba Group Holding gained 2.3% to HK$270 on reports that more Hong Kong-listed companies will be added to the Stock Connect, a cross-border investment channel linking the city and the mainland. JD.com, which rivals Alibaba in e-commerce, added 1% to HK$348.20. Gaming company NetEase advanced 1.6% to HK$150.80.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the local bourse operator, rallied 4% to HK$392 on expectations that it will benefit from increased trading volumes.
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