Merck Covid treatment, Chinese markets closed – .

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Merck Covid treatment, Chinese markets closed – .


SINGAPORE – Shares in Asia-Pacific rose on Monday morning after Merck announced its new oral antiviral treatment Covid which lowers the risk of hospitalization or death.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.65% while the Topix index rose 0.78%.

Australian stocks surged, with the S & P / ASX 200 rising 1.34%.

The MSCI’s largest Asia-Pacific stock index outside of Japan traded up 0.4%.

Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced on Friday that they had developed a drug that reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by about 50% in Covid patients. If cleared by regulatory agencies, the drug could be the first oral antiviral drug for Covid.
The companies plan to seek emergency clearance for Covid antiviral treatment after the drug has shown “convincing results” in clinical trials.

Markets in China are closed for most of this week for the holidays and are expected to reopen on Friday. South Korean markets are also closed on Mondays for a public holiday.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.948 after falling recently from above 94.4.

The Japanese yen was trading at 110.96 per dollar, stronger than around 112 levels seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands to $ 0.7279 after rebounding late last week of around $ 0.72.

Oil prices were down on the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.19% to $ 79.13 a barrel. US crude futures fell 0.26% to $ 75.68 a barrel.

– CNBC’s Chloe Taylor contributed to this report.

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