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Markets rally as traders bet on clear Biden win

August Graham, PA City Reporter
·3-min read

Markets closed high around the world as traders kept an eye on the voting booths in the US, where Americans are choosing their next president.

A list of some of the biggest markets, including the S&P 500 and Dow Jones in the US, the Cac in France, Germany’s Dax, and the FTSE 100 in London were up by over 2% when markets closed in Europe.

The markets are betting on a big win for Joe Biden, pushing up stock prices on the hope that the election will not be fought through the courts.

Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at ThinkMarkets, said: “They may also be betting that the Democrats could win a majority in both chambers of Congress, allowing Biden – should he win the election – to easily pass through a much-needed fiscal stimulus package in January.”

Markets are also coming back from a nightmare end to October which saw the FTSE 100 notch up its worst week since the middle of June.

It means that the index, and its cousins around the world, were starting the week at a low level.

“The danger for the markets – and it is a very real danger – is that they are going to wake-up with one hell of a hangover on Wednesday if the result is anything but a decisive, and stimulus-signalling, victory for the Democrats,” said SpreadEx analyst Connor Campbell.

The FTSE 100 was up 131.8 points, or 2.3% to 5,786.77, the Dax rose 2.6%, the Cac was up 2.4%, the Dow Jones by 2.4%, the S&P 500 by 2.2%.

The pound rose 1.2% against the dollar to 1.3071, and 0.4% when converting to euros, at 1.1144.

Oil futures also rose, with Brent crude adding 2% to 39.73 dollars per barrel.

In company news, Taylor Wimpey was the FTSE’s third best performer after smaller rival Crest Nicholson said it expects to make more profit this year than first thought, even amid the new lockdown. Shears in Crest closed up by more than 16%.

Shares in Primark owner AB Foods were little better than flat as bosses revealed that the company was considering longer opening hours over Christmas after lockdown lifts.

Troubled lender Amigo warned that its profits could take a nasty hit from a slew of complaints. Its shares plunged more than 22%.

G4S rejected a £3.25 billion bid from Gardaworld, sending shares up 3% to 211p, one pence above the offer from US rival Allied Universal.

Office company IWG’s shares hopped 8.8% after it said that office workers had been slowly returning, and that it would benefit from flexible working.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Rolls-Royce, up 7.44p to 84p, NatWest, up 8.75p to 128.8p, Taylor Wimpey, up 7.45p to 116.05p, Barclays, up 6.32p to 113.36p, and RSA Group, up 24.6p to 452.1p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Just Eat Takeaway.com, down 126p to 8,636p, Ocado, down 29p to 2,430p, DS Smith, down 2.2p to 289.6p, BT, down 0.75p to 100.95p, and B&M, down 1.2p to 503p.