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Euronext Paris

Markets Mostly up but Held Back by Stimulus Uncertainty

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Key Points

  • Stock markets mostly rose Friday but gains were limited as US lawmakers struggled to hammer out a fresh economic rescue package, while investors were largely unmoved by the last presidential debate before next month’s election.
  • Tokyo, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Wellington, and Jakarta all rose, with Manila surging more than two percent as the Philippine capital eases lockdown measures. But Shanghai, Sydney, and Taipei fell.
  • London and Paris each rose more than one percent, and Frankfurt added almost as much.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

HONG KONG — Stock markets mostly rose Friday but gains were limited as US lawmakers struggled to hammer out a fresh economic rescue package, while investors were largely unmoved by the last presidential debate before next month’s election.

Equities have swung back and forth over the past week as the will-they-won’t-they saga of the stimulus discussions keeps traders on their toes, though observers believe a bill is increasingly unlikely to be passed before the November 3 vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said both parties “continue to be engaged in negotiations, and I am hopeful we will be able to reach an agreement,” but she warned that opposition to a massive spending plan from Senate Republicans posed a huge hurdle.

“Both sides remain at the stimulus negotiating table as neither benefits from pulling away,” said Axi strategist Stephen Innes. But he said Republicans were “unwilling to compromise on the thorniest issues of financial aid to states and liability protections, and Pelosi is unlikely to hand (Donald) Trump a victory this late in the game.

“So, unless a surprise occurs before Friday sundown at the Last Chance Saloon, neither side may be negotiating in good faith.”

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