Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 closed up at the highest level since 1991 after global stocks continued to rally this week as investors prepare for a possible victory for Democrat Joe Biden.
The Nikkei enjoyed one of the biggest gains among its peers in Asia-Pacific, jumping 0.9 percent to 24,325.23 points on Friday. This is the highest mark for the benchmark index since the last decade of the 20th century, when Japan’s once-bustling economy collapsed and entered the so-called “Lost Decade.”
Elsewhere in the region, India’s Mumbai Sensex rose around 1.3 percent, Australia All Ordinaries added 0.8 percent and South Korea’s Kospi 50 finished the week around a half percent higher. Despite the decline in Chinese stocks, MSCI Asia Pacific Index – the gauge of Asian Pacific shares outside Japan – neared a 3-year high after rising 0.3 percent, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the MSCI All-Country World Equity Index, which tracks stocks from 23 developed and 26 emerging markets countries, moved closer to its record peak seen in September after it added 0.05 percent.
European shares were slightly up when bourses opened on Friday, but quickly reversed the course. German DAX was down nearly one percent and British FTSE 100 lost around half a percent, while French shares were still trading 1.2 percent higher. The pan-European STOXX 600 slided 0.8 percent.
Despite the expected market turmoil amid election uncertainty, US shares surged for four consecutive sessions this week. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 jumped by nearly two percent on Thursday. However, Wall Street may not extend those gains as futures pointed lower in pre-market trading on Friday.
While key states are still finishing counting votes that could determine the result of the elections, Biden is already projected to win. As per AP’s current tally, the Democratic nominee needs only six more delegates to secure the 270 required to get to the Oval Office. Meanwhile, incumbent President Donald Trump is mounting legal challenges to vote counts, accusing his opponents of trying to “steal” the election.
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