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Stocks Gain on Start of Formal Biden Power Shift: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — U.S. and European equity futures and most Asian stocks climbed Tuesday after the triggering of a formal transition process to President-elect Joe Biden. The dollar dipped.S&P 500 contracts advanced after the General Services Administration acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner of the presidential election. Stocks outperformed in Japan, which reopened after a holiday, and Australia. They fluctuated in Hong Kong and China after a report that senior Trump administration officials are pushing for new hard-line measures against Beijing. European equity futures climbed.Earlier, U.S. equities closed in the green, with tech shares lagging and small caps jumping. AstraZeneca Plc became the latest firm to deliver positive vaccine news, bolstering demand for cruise-line operators and airlines. Gold added to overnight losses and oil gained. Sentiment also was boosted after people familiar with the matter said Biden plans to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury Secretary.The General Services Administration’s acknowledgment reduces political uncertainty in the U.S., giving Biden and his team access to current agency officials, briefing books, some $6 million in funding and other government resources.“Markets love certainty and the move by Trump overnight partially removes ambiguity over the presidential succession,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst Asia Pacific at Oanda, said in a note. “A Biden administration is expected to be much less isolationist, with hopes that the U.S. will reengage on global trade and improve relations with China.”Markets had already been buoyed by the latest vaccine successes and data showing U.S. business activity powered ahead in November at the fastest pace since March 2015. Investors have snapped up assets that could benefit from the end of lockdowns, even as the virus rages across the U.S. and Europe. Traders have also started to anticipate Congress will again deliver a spending bill to stave off the economic effects of new restrictions aimed at slowing the pathogen.“Having that end date on the calendar, with what looks like possibly three effective vaccines defines the bottom,” Brent Schutte, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Chief Investment Strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I think investors will come in and buy the dip, and I do think you will continue to have the rotation to those value names, small-cap names, things that are leveraged to the economic cycle.”Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar jumped to its highest since 2018 while bonds declined as rate-cut bets were pared after a government proposal to add home prices to the central bank’s remit. Such a move would dim prospects of further rate cuts. Here are some key events coming up:Minutes of the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting are due Wednesday.U.S. jobless claims, GDP and personal spending data come Wednesday.U.K. expected on Wednesday to deliver the government’s spending plans for next year.Thursday sees a policy decision and briefing from the Bank of Korea.U.S. celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.The week ends with Black Friday, the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.These are the main moves in markets:StocksS&P 500 futures rose 0.7% as of 6 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.6%.Topix index rose 2.1%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1.3%.Kospi index added 0.5%.Hang Seng Index was little changed.Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures gained 0.5%.CurrenciesThe yen traded at 104.37 per dollar, up 0.1%.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2%.The offshore yuan was at 6.5815 per dollar.The euro traded at $1.1850.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries edged up to 0.86%.Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose four basis points to 0.89%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude gained 1.3% to $43.61 a barrel.Gold dipped 0.6% to $1,826.31 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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