Aust shares to fall after vaccine doubts

The Australian share market is set to lose some of the big gains made on Tuesday after US doubts about a possible coronavirus vaccine.

The SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 83 points, 1.49 per cent, to 5,491.0 at 0800 AEST on Wednesday, indicating a loss in early trade.

The contract’s low numbers come after US investors overnight focused on a report questioning biotech Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine early stage trial results.

The US company’s early results prompted rampant buying on markets the day earlier.

However, the report questioned the validity of the results and Moderna’s share price finished more than 10 per cent lower.

That concern produced a widespread slide that left the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 390.51 points, or 1.59 per cent, to 24,206.86, the S&P 500 lower by 30.97 points, or 1.05 per cent, at 2,922.94 and the Nasdaq Composite down 49.72 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 9,185.10.

On the home front on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release retail sales data for April.

ANZ Bank economists expect sales will be down by 5.0 per cent following the panic buying in March that overwhelmed many store operators.

Investors will also keep an eye on the escalating trade tensions between Australia and China.

There are reports Chinese officials are considering stricter checks for Australian seafood, oats and fruit after imposing tariffs on barley and banning some beef imports.

Australian commentators have said the measures are a reaction to Australia’s call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.

Chinese officials deny the claim.

The Australian dollar was buying 65.31 US cents at 0800 AEST, down from 65.46 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.

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