Pfizer's experimental Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective based on initial trial results, the company said on Monday, in a major victory in the fight against a pandemic that has killed over a million people and battered the world's economy. The company is expected to seek US authorization this month for emergency use of the vaccine, raising the possibility of a regulatory decision as soon as December.
The development sent stocks worldwide soaring, with the S&P 500 and the Dow rallying sharply but closing shy of their records in overnight trade as investors bet that a full economic reopening was finally in sight. The Dow Jones rose 2.95 per cent in its biggest one-day percentage gain since June 5, The S&P 500 rose 1.17 per cent, while the Nasdaq dropped 1.5 per cent.
The main Asian indices also made a firm start on Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei and Australia's ASX200 both rising over 1 per cent in early deals while Korea's Kospi gained 0.3 per cent.
Back home, too, all signs are indicating towards a strong start. At 7:30 AM, the SGX Nifty was up 180 points at 12,700 levels.
Investors are likely to pile on the sectors that have underperformed in the current year owing to the Covid restrictions. As such, aviation, hotels and cinema related stocks are set to rally in today's trade.
Besides, market participants are also bracing for today's counting of votes for the Bihar assembly election, with most pollsters predicting a landslide victory for the five-party Grand Alliance led by the young RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. Counting will be taken up at 55 centres across 38 districts where the outcome will decide the fate of the Nitish Kumar government that has helmed the state for a decade and half.
On the results front, Oil India yesterday reported a 42 per cent drop in September quarter net profit at Rs 382 crore largely on account of lower oil prices and one-time expense it incurred on controlling a blowout in Assam.
A total of 532 companies including GAIL India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hindalco Industries, and Tata Power are scheduled to announce their quarterly earnings today.
TCS is expected to trade actively today after the company said it will acquire 100 per cent shares of Postbank Systems from Deutsche Bank. PBS has been the internal IT provider for Postbank AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, catering for the German retail banking market.
And, in the end, a quick look at other top news.
Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma’s IPO was subscribed 4 per cent on Monday, the first day of the issue. The offering has received bids for 1.1 million shares as against 30 million on offer.
Equity mutual funds witnessed an outflow of Rs 2,725 crore in October, making it the fourth consecutive monthly withdrawal, on profit booking by investors. All the equity schemes, barring large- and mid-cap and sectoral funds, have seen outflows, data from the Amfi showed on Monday.