European stocks rally and Dow futures rise 400 points after Biden declares victory

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EUROPE MARKETS

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Up 7% last week, the Stoxx Europe 600 (XX:SXXP) gained 1.3%.

The German DAX (DX:DAX) French CAC 40 (FR:PX1) and U.K. FTSE 100 (UK:UKX) all advanced.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (YM00) rose 400 points, and Asian markets also rallied, with the Nikkei 225 (JP:NIK) climbing to its highest level since 1991.

It was the market’s first opportunity to react to the news that Biden topped the necessary 270 Electoral College votes, according to the tallies from the Associated Press and other major media outlets. President Donald Trump hasn’t conceded, but has yet to mount a legal challenge that analysts think has any likelihood of succeeding. The Biden administration is likely to take place with a Republican-controlled Senate, unless Democrats can win two runoff elections in the state of Georgia.

“A week ago, the prospect of an inconclusive U.S. election was viewed with trepidation, but it turns out that gridlock in Washington is just what investors wanted,” said Ian Williams, strategist at Peel Hunt.

Analysts said Biden’s victory may also help make a European Union-U.K. trade deal more likely. “After all, Biden’s strong Irish links mean that any potential issues stemming from a no-deal Brexit would likely significantly dent hopes of any U.S.-U.K. free-trade agreement,” said Paul Hollingsworth, an economist at BNP Paribas.

The news on the election overshadowed the latest reports on the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 project said the U.S. new-case tally was the highest ever for a Sunday, as the Bank of France said the current lockdown will reduce activity to 12% below normal.

Economists at Goldman Sachs lowered their estimate of global growth next year to 6%, a reduction of 0.5%. “The reason is the sharp rise in infections in recent weeks, which has led us to build in a sizable, if short-lived, economic hit, especially in Europe,” said Jan Hatzius and Daan Struyven in a note to clients.

Of stocks on the move, U.K. builder Taylor Wimpey (UK:TW) rose 12% after saying this year’s results will come in at the top end of expectations. “The housing market has recovered well since reopening after the second-quarter shutdown and, despite the wider uncertainty, underlying demand continues to be resilient, supported by very low interest rates,” the builder said.

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