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Global shares jump as Biden edges closer to victory


Global share markets posted further solid gains on Thursday as US Democratic challenger Joe Biden edged closer to seizing the White House despite a split Congress dashing hopes of a rapid move to launch a new stimulus package.

New York’s Dow Jones Industrial Average built on its strong performance this week to open higher on Thursday, consequently helping to drive European stocks as they headed into the afternoon trading session.

The eurozone’s blue-chip Stoxx 50 was up 1.37 per cent at 3,204.17 points just as the Dow climbed 1.27 per cent to 27,847.66 in Thursday’s opening trade on Wall Street.

Markets across the Asia Pacific region also closed on a confident note earlier in the day, with Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average gaining 1.73 per cent to end the trading day at 24,105.28.

“Investors are betting that the noise from the Republican Trump camp will eventually stop after a Biden victory and are looking ahead,” wrote Axi trading group analyst Milan Cutkovic in a note to clients.

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Market investor confidence was despite outbreaks of localized violence across the US as counting continued in the handful of critical so-called swing states that could decide the election outcome.

Biden has taken a further a step overnight towards clinching the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win the White House after Wisconsin and Michigan – two important swing states – were called for the former vice president.

Gold also hit a two-week high of 1,919 dollars an ounce on Thursday as the prospects of continued low US interest rates undercut the dollar.

The rise in the price of the precious metal also reflected investor concerns of renewed political gridlock in the world’s biggest economy after the Republicans defended their hold on the Senate in Tuesday’s election. The Democrats control the House of Representatives.

The Nikkei now stands at its highest level since October 2018, while the broader Topix index climbed 1.39 per cent to 1,649.94.

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged 3.25 per cent on the day and China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed up 1.3 per cent.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi Index rose 2.4 per cent to end at 2,413.79.
Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 1.28 per cent on the day and the broader All Ordinaries index closed up 1.26 per cent.

On Wednesday, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index soared 3.85 per cent and the S&P 500 index closed up 2.2 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.34 per cent.

The eurozone Stoxx 50 gains on Thursday were also reflected across national European bourses.
While Frankfurt’s leading Dax index was 1.49-per-cent higher, Paris’ CAC 40 rose 0.98 per cent. Stocks in London also climbed, with the FTSE-100 index up 0.54 per cent.

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