Stocks edge higher as Biden victory looms
Global stock markets edged higher and the dollar sank to a two-month low as investors waited for.. ...
Late Friday, Global stock markets edged higher and the dollar sank to a two-month low as investors waited for the final vote processing in the U.S. presidential election.
In Europe, treasury yields rose on better-than-expected October employment data, while oil prices slid below $40 a barrel as new lockdowns to halt the surging COVID-19 pandemic dimmed the demand outlook.
MSCI’s all-country world stock index rose 0.25% to 592.84, adding to a week-long rally in which the benchmark for global equity performance advanced almost 8% to post its best week in nearly seven months. The index also topped highs last seen in September.
The broad pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.12% to 1,418.13, while emerging market stocks rose 0.96% in Europe.
Biden expanded narrow leads over President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia, but Georgia ordered a recount that could lead to a long period of uncertainty. Biden was expected to address the nation Friday evening, in what could be a victory speech.
Stocks on Wall Street rebounded from early profit-taking from the week’s big gains to close little changed as a Biden presidency appeared inevitable and a sense of resignation settled in at the White House.
“It’s more certain that we’re going to have Biden as president and more importantly we won’t have Trump as there’s so much unpredictability with Trump,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.
“The unpredictability of a president makes investing in any area that he can potentially touch, like China, fraught with risk. All a sudden China is a less risky investment without Trump,” Ghriskey said.
Trump vowed to continue his legal fight and said in a statement, “I will never give up fighting for you and our nation.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.24%, the S&P 500 lost 0.03% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.04%. For the week the Dow rose 6.87%, the S&P 500 7.33% and the Nasdaq 9.02%. All three posted their best weekly percentage gains since April.
However, a surge in coronavirus cases globally has put a damper on the recovery outlook and investor enthusiasm that had embraced a scenario of Republicans retaining control of the Senate during a Biden administration.
“The market perhaps is starting to cheer there being some certainty to the election,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale in New York.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note’s yield rose 4.4 basis points to 0.8218%.
“There was some skittishness to the bond market when elections were too close to call. So the risk premium associated with a prolonged election uncertainty gets priced out,” Rajappa said.
Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics in Boulder, Colorado, said the U.S. unemployment report raised the prospect for fourth-quarter growth, putting upward pressure on bond yields.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a lower-than-expected 6.9% from 7.9% in September, while growth in private payrolls blew past the consensus estimate, adding 906,000 jobs, especially in the hard-hit leisure and entertainment sector.
“Overall, it was a very encouraging report. The job market is pretty broadly recovering and recovering better than most forecasters have expected,” said Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc in Troy, Michigan.
But a 638,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls was the smallest gain since a jobs recovery started in May, a sign the economy still needed stimulus.
Italy’s 10-year yield hit a record low of 0.603% on expectations of further stimulus.
With COVID-19 raging in the United States and parts of Europe, many investors assume more central bank stimulus is inevitable.
The Bank of England expanded its asset purchase scheme on Thursday, while the Federal Reserve kept its monetary policy loose and pledged to do whatever it takes to sustain a U.S. economic recovery. The European Central Bank is widely expected to announce more stimulus next month.
Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei average rose 0.9% to a 29-year high while MSCI’s broadest gauge of Asian Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3%, near a three-year high.
In currency markets, lower yields undermined the dollar, with the dollar index touching a two-month low of 92.182. It fell 0.436%, with the euro up 0.48% to $1.1878.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.21% versus the greenback at 103.28 per dollar.
Spot gold prices rose 0.19% to $1,952.26 an ounce. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.3% at $1,951.70.
Crude prices fell about 4% as fresh lockdowns in Europe to contain the coronavirus darkened the outlook for oil.
Brent crude futures settled down $1.48 at $39.45 a barrel. U.S. crude futures fell $1.65 to settle at $37.14 a barrel.
For more Finance & Investment news follow i-invest Online.
- Cybersecurity Expert Reveals most important tips to keep your child safeCybersecurity reveals how parents can prevent their child from becoming addicted to video games The world of online gaming is forever expanding and has become extremely popular over the past decade among younger generations. Although online gaming can help children learn how to socialize and…
- Ball Corporation’s release of Climate Transition PlanBall Corporation releases Climate Transition Plan and 2022 Annual Combined Financial and Sustainability Report BALL Corporation today released its new Climate Transition Plan which outlines the company’s pathway and evolution into a fully circular and decarbonised business. This allows Ball to better serve its stakeholders and deliver…
- An interview with Roger Ballentine, President of GreenbizRoger Ballentine, President of Greenbiz and one of the Top Sustainability Speakers listed by The Sustainability Speakers Agency, sat down in this exciting interview to discuss his former role at the White House. Discover the biggest hurdles businesses face in the fight against climate change, the economic…
- An interview with Alexandra Palt, CEO of the L’Oréal FoundationIn this exciting interview with Alexandra Palt, CEO of the Foundation L’Oréal, discover how the cosmetics giant puts the planet first through several sustainable strategies and policies. The former sustainability officer has dedicated her career to corporate transformation through innovative climate solutions, a commitment that…
- An interview with Sir Jonathon Porritt, former co-chair of The Green Party & co-founder of Forum for the FutureSir Jonathon Porritt, a sustainability champion who was listed as one of the Top Climate Change Speakers in the world, took part in this interview to reflect on his incredible career. As the former co-chair of The Green Party and co-founder of Forum for the Future, Jonathon…