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Most Markets Rise on Stimulus Hope, Easing Uncertainty

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Key Points

  • Asian equities rallied again Tuesday as investors picked up the baton from their US counterparts, with demand for higher-risk assets boosted by hopes for a new US stimulus and growing expectations Joe Biden is on course to become the next president.
  • News that Donald Trump had returned to the White House after hospital treatment for coronavirus also lifted a major source of uncertainty over the November 3 polls, which some had feared could have been delayed.
  • All three main indexes rallied Monday—with the Nasdaq racing more than two percent higher—after Friday’s losses, as the president’s condition improved, while analysts pointed out that his positive test for COVID-19 could be the jolt US lawmakers needed to finally agree on a new rescue package.
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Hong Kong — Asian equities rallied again Tuesday as investors picked up the baton from their US counterparts, with demand for higher-risk assets boosted by hopes for a new US stimulus and growing expectations Joe Biden is on course to become the next president.

News that Donald Trump had returned to the White House after hospital treatment for coronavirus also lifted a major source of uncertainty over the November 3 polls, which some had feared could have been delayed.

All three main indexes rallied Monday—with the Nasdaq racing more than two percent higher—after Friday’s losses, as the president’s condition improved, while analysts pointed out that his positive test for COVID-19 could be the jolt US lawmakers needed to finally agree on a new rescue package.

Talks were revived last week with a series of phone calls and an in-person meeting between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The speaker’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said the two planned to hold another call Tuesday.

“Investors are likely running with the idea that recent data and President Trump’s first-hand experience with the virus increases the odds of another fiscal package,” Adam Phillips, at EP Wealth Advisors, said.

“It is becoming harder to deny the need for additional fiscal support.”

And OANDA’s Jeffrey Halley said that “expectations are undeniably rising that compromise will be reached,” but he added that with traders piling back into stocks owing to a fear of missing out on the rally “I dread to the see the correction” if no deal is struck.

Hong Kong climbed 0.9 percent, having put on around two percent in the previous two trading days, while Tokyo closed 0.5 percent higher. 

Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, and Wellington also enjoyed healthy gains while Taipei, Bangkok, and Jakarta both jumped more than one percent. Shanghai was closed for a holiday.

London, Paris, and Frankfurt were all slightly lower after giving up opening gains.

Investors are increasingly confident Biden will beat Trump, with recent polls putting him between 10 and 14 points ahead nationally and leading in crucial swing states. Analysts pointed out that polls also suggest voters think Trump could have handled the pandemic better.

A big win for the former vice president would lower the chances of Trump challenging the result, removing more uncertainty from markets. 

Traders are also eyeing a Democrat sweep of both houses of Congress, which could mean their previously proposed stimulus of more than $3 trillion could be dusted off and pushed through.

“The market seems to have settled on the idea that a Biden win is bullish stocks… as the return of stability and the promise of (big government) spending outweigh any concerns about future tax hikes” that would be expected from the Democrats, said Axi strategist Stephen Innes.

Key Figures

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 23,433.73 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 23,980.65 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: Closed for a holiday

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.5 percent at 5,911.75

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1780 from $1.1781 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.64 yen from 105.72 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2986 from $1.2979

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.71 pence from 90.77 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.3 percent at $39.33 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.3 percent at $41.42 per barrel

New York – Dow Jones: UP 1.7 percent at 28,148.64 (close)

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