Stocks Head Toward Record High on Biden Optimism: Markets Wrap

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

Monday began with a continuation of last week’s embrace of risk, after Biden was declared the winner of the U.S. election on Saturday. S&P 500 futures were up about 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 about 2%. There were also broad-based gains across the Asia Pacific.

The yuan and euro ticked higher alongside the Australian and New Zealand dollars. Treasuries were little changed. Biden, in his victory speech over the weekend, promised swift action against the pandemic and an orderly transfer of power. Elsewhere, Turkey’s lira rose after the installment of a new central bank chief. Oil pared some of Friday’s slide.

By being declared winner in Pennsylvania, Biden passed the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to capture the presidency and media networks at the weekend declared him victorious. President Donald Trump is weighing legal challenges and has so far refused to concede.

“Markets will probably judge this as 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.”

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 U.S. reported more than 126,000 new infections for the third consecutive day. Total U.S. cases neared 10 million with no slowdown in sight. A protest against virus-related restrictions in Leipzig, Germany, ended in violence.

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 U.K. and EU continue in London Monday with several tricky sticking points remainingTuesday is the EU’s target date for triggering tariffs on as much as $4 billion of U.S. 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 yearECB 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 1.4% as of 11:31 a.m. Tokyo time. The S&P 500 Index closed little changed on Friday.Japan’s Topix index rose 1.2%.Shanghai Composite gained 1.2%.Hang Seng rose 1.3%.South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.2%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 1.5%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.The yen was little changed at 103.33 per dollar.The offshore yuan rose 0.1% to 6.5822 per dollar.The Aussie rose 0.3% to 72.83 U.S. cents.The kiwi gained 0.6% to 68.11 U.S. cents.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at about 0.82%.Australia’s 10-year yield added two basis points to 0.77%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.8% to $38.18 a barrel.Gold rose 0.2% to $1,955.76 an ounce.

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