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Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, May 26:

The market mood is upbeat, with stocks, oil, and even gold rising while the dollar and yen are on the back foot. Optimism about reopening and a vaccine by Novavax is outweighing ongoing Sino-American tensions.

Vaccine? After Moderna’s encouraging announcement last week, another American company called Novavax will begin human testing for coronavirus immunization in Australia. Initial results are expected in July.

On the other hand, Fujifilm’s Avigan will likely not receive approval as a coronavirus treatment by the end of May, as originally expected. The World Health Organization removed hydroxychloroquine from its list of recommended medications for respiratory disease. 

Reopening: Japan ended its emergency state over Tokyo and other prefectures, California reopens places of worship, various European countries are also advancing with easing restrictions, and Hong Kong enables karaoke joints to accept visitors. That is also supporting the market mood.

Sino-American relations remain tense around several topics. China’s military garrison in Hong Kong said that it will safeguard’s Beijing’s interests as a general strike is planned. Washington is angry with China’s move to tighten its grip. American legislation meant to limit Chinese companies’ listing in the US has triggered criticism as well. Last week, the mood changed several times and it may happen again. 

US markets and also indicators are back from a long weekend. New Home Sales figures have likely dropped sharply in April while the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence gauge likely bounced. 

See: CB Consumer Confidence Preview: Can that be the turn? Behind us?

UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that some shops will be able to reopen from June 15. His announcement was marred by a scandal involving his senior adviser Dominic Cummings, who violated the lockdown in mid-March and struggled to explain his decision. Conservative MPs are worried that Johnson spent so much political capital on Cummings.

Eurozone: Germany’s IFO Business Climate beat expectations by bouncing to 79.5 points in May. The institution said that the mood is improving after a “catastrophic” April. Germany and Spain are set to ease travel restrictions and other countries are also returning to normal,

COVID-19 statistics have been encouraging in these two countries and also in Italy, the hardest-hit country, which saw the lowest number of deaths since March. Officials at the European Central Bank have reiterated their willingness to do more to help the economies. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison curbed enthusiasm about opening borders as the country gradually opens up. AUD/USD has been extending its gains nonetheless. 

Oil prices have resumed their gains amid the better market mood, with WTI topping $34. Gold is also edging higher, with the precious metal recapturing the $1,730 level.

Cryptocurrencies have stabilized, with Bitcoin trading around $8,900. 

See: Negative Rates: Only good for downing currencies?