Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher on vaccine hopes

Asian stocks have followed Wall Street higher as hopes for development of a coronavirus vaccine compete with concern about rising U.S. infections. Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia all advanced. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended 0.5% higher. Investors were encouraged after drug companies Pfizer and BioNtech announced preliminary data from a vaccine test. At the same time, some American states reported daily record highs in new virus cases.