Stocks head toward record high on Biden optimism: markets wrap

Global equities headed for a record high amid optimism about the outlook under a Joe Biden presidency. The dollar extended declines.

Last week’s embrace of risk continued Monday after Biden was declared the winner of the US election over the weekend. S&P 500 futures rose more than 1.5%, building on the strongest week since April for the benchmark, as the president-elect launched his transition effort. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index, which have outperformed since Tuesday’s vote, were up more than 2%. There were also broad-based gains across Asia Pacific and European futures pointed higher.

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The yuan and euro ticked higher alongside the Australian and New Zealand dollars. Treasuries were steady and oil pared some of Friday’s slide. Turkey’s lira rose after the installment of a new central bank chief.

Biden in his victory speech promised swift action against the pandemic and an orderly transfer of power, though President Donald Trump is weighing legal challenges and has so far refused to concede. As of Sunday there was a growing sense among Trump’s allies that he’d lost.

Markets will probably judge that “this is no longer a contested election, that a delay even of the election result is not there either,” Ben Emons, managing director of global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors, said on Bloomberg TV. “The first order of business Monday morning will really be about reassessing what the policy will be under a Biden presidency in terms of domestic and foreign policy,” he added.

With global equities heading for an all-time high closing level and coming off their best week since April — they rose more than 7% — investor focus will likely return to the global economic recovery. That remains under threat from the resurgent coronavirus, with worldwide cases of Covid-19 surpassing 50 million.

The US reported more than 100,000 new infections for a fourth consecutive day. Total US cases neared 10 million with no slowdown in sight. Japan is facing rising infections in the northern island of Hokkaido.

Meantime, Chinese trade data over the weekend showed Asia’s largest economy is continuing to recover.

These are some key events coming up:

  • Brexit trade-deal talks between the UK and EU continue in London Monday with several tricky sticking points remaining
  • Tuesday is the EU’s target date for triggering tariffs on as much as $4 billion of US goods in retaliation over illegal aid to Boeing Co.
  • Alibaba holds its annual Singles’ Day on Wednesday, an online global shopping phenomenon that had $38 billion of sales last year
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde, BOE Governor Andrew Bailey and Fed Chair Jerome Powell are among the speakers Thursday at an online ECB Forum entitled “Central Banks in a Shifting World”
  • Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 hold an extraordinary meeting Friday to discuss bolder action to help poor nations struggling to repay their debts.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P futures rose 1.6% as of 2:55 p.m. Tokyo time. The S&P 500 Index closed little changed on Friday.
  • Japan’s Topix index climbed 1.5%.
  • Shanghai Composite gained 2%.
  • Hang Seng rose 1.5%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.3%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 1.7%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.
  • The yen dipped 0.2% to 103.54 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan rose 0.5% to 6.5556 per dollar.
  • The Aussie rose 0.5% to 72.97 U.S. cents.
  • The kiwi gained 0.6% to 68.11 U.S. cents.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 0.81%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield added two basis points to 0.77%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.7% to $38.13 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 0.6% to $1,962.85 an ounce.
© 2020 Bloomberg

Source: moneyweb.co.za