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Australia: Shares end higher as vaccine euphoria fuels recovery hopes
[SYDNEY] Australia shares closed more than 1 per cent higher on Tuesday, as news of a third promising vaccine candidate lifted sectors such as energy, financials and industrials.
Cyclicals led the gains, with energy stocks advancing as much as 3.6 per cent to their highest in more than five months.
British drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Monday its Covid-19 vaccine could be up to 90 per cent effective, and cheaper and easier to distribute than rivals, giving the world's fight against the pandemic a third new weapon after Pfizer and Moderna announced promising trial results earlier this month.
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark index closed 1.3 per cent higher at 6,644.1 points.
"The more of the pharmaceutical companies that come out and announce they've got a successful viral treatment, it inspires the market to maintain these very lofty levels," said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking.
"It's going to take a very long time to implement them, to get them through different parts of the world, so the market is trying to get inspiration out of every announcement of a vaccine, but it's going to be short-lived," Smoling said.
Financials hit their highest in more than eight months, with the so-called "Big Four" banks climbing between 3.1 per cent and 2 per cent.
The New Zealand benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.4 per cent higher.