Asia shares mostly higher after US stocks gain for fifth day | National News

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares mostly rose on Tuesday, cheered by a rally to all-time highs on Wall Street.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% to 29,953.97. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3% to 3,054.77. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.1% to 6,846.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5% to 28,971.04, while the Shanghai Composite inched down nearly 0.1% to 3,417.02.

The slower rollouts of the coronavirus vaccine in Asia, compared to the U.S. and Europe, continues to put investors in the region in a cautionary mode, although South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and other nations have had fewer deaths.

Weighing on sentiment is news that the vaccine from AstraZeneca had had reports “blood clots after usage, whether or not a side-effect, (that) have resulted in a ‘precautionary’ suspension” in Europe,” said Venkateswaran Lavanya of Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

“This has setback Europe’s vaccination progress even more starkly compared to the U.S.,” Lavanya said in a report.

The news is also bad for Japan. Japan has started vaccinations of medical professionals with the product from Pfizer, but was set to use those from Moderna as well as AstraZeneca. The AstraZeneca vaccines were due to be produced in Japan, unlike the other two brands.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.7% to 3,368.94 after having been down 0.5% in early trading, extending its winning streak to a fifth day. Technology stocks, airlines, cruise operators and other companies that rely on consumer spending helped lift the market. Banks and energy stocks were the only laggards.