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Asia stocks rise on vaccine hope, U.S. power transition


Shares in the Asia-Pacific region mostly climbed on Tuesday as investors cheered further progress on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and the start of a U.S. power transition to president-elect Joe Biden.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 638.22 points, or 2.5 per cent, to close at 26,165.59, hitting a fresh 29-year-high, while the broader Topix index rose 35.01 points, or 2.03 per cent, to end at 1,762.4.

Japan’s financial markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 1.26 per cent to close at 6,644.1 and the broader All Ordinaries index climbed 1.23 per cent to 6,855.5 on the day.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi Index gained 0.58 per cent to end at 2,617.76.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday finally allowed the General Services Administration to begin working with the incoming Biden administration after refusing to do so for weeks.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford announced on Monday that their COVID-19 vaccine is on average about 70 per cent effective against the Coronavirus.

The vaccine is the third by major Western firms to release concrete test results.