Asia Pacific stocks as optimism rises on Pfizer’s vaccine approval

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia Pacific were poised for a mixed start on Monday, as optimism rose on the approval of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.Futures pointed to a mixed open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,765 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,510. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,652.52.The Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan survey is expected to be out at around 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday. The headline index for big manufacturers’ confidence is expected to show less pessimism in the December quarter as compared to the previous three months, according to economists in a Reuters poll.Meanwhile, shares in Australia edged higher in early trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 up around 0.3%.In coronavirus developments stateside, CDC Director Robert Redfield has signed off on Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, allowing inoculations to officially move forward for people ages 16 or older. That came following the FDA emergency authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine. The U.S. has begun to ship the doses to hundreds of distribution centers across the country.CurrenciesThe U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.737 after recently seeing levels above 91.The Japanese yen traded at 103.96 per dollar following a strengthening last week form levels above 104.4 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7554, having risen from levels below $0.749 last week.What’s on tap:Japan: Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan business sentiment survey at 7:50 a.m. HK/SIN— CNBC’s Emma Newburger contributed to this report.

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