LONDON/TOKYO (Reuters) - Global stocks remained within a tight range yesterday, less than two weeks before the U.S. presidential election, with traders looking for a breakthrough in stimulus talks in Washington.
The final debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Thursday provided few surprises.
European stocks pushed 0.8 percent higher for their best day in five trading sessions. Strong third-quarter results offset key business survey data showing patchy recoveries across the euro zone’s two largest economies, Germany and France.
Britain’s main stock index .FTSE added 1.1 percent as Barclays BARC.L reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and British retail sales beat expectations in September.
The chief negotiators for Britain and the European Union were set to meet on Friday for talks on a last-gasp trade deal to avert a tumultuous finale to the five-year Brexit crisis.
U.S. S&P 500 futures ESc1 were up 0.1 percent, after dipping following the debate. The underlying index had gained about 0.5 percent the day before on hopes the U.S. Congress and the White House would soon strike a deal on another round of COVID-19 stimulus.
Shares in Asia hardly moved, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan.MIAPJ0000PUS 0.1 percent lower. Japan’s Nikkei ticked up 0.2 percent. The CSI300 index of mainland China shed 1.3 percent.
The MSCI world equity index which follows shares in nearly 50 countries, was up 0.2 percent and set for its biggest weekly fall in a month. Clean energy is seen as a potential winner at the expense of conventional energy under a Biden presidency. The Dow Jones oil and gas index is down nearly 49 percent this year. Biden reiterated his campaign pledge of net-zero-emissions by 2050. The Nasdaq index, which had led the market’s rally, has underperformed lately, losing 1.4 percent so far this week, on concern Democrats will take a harder stance on big tech firms. “A blue wave may lead to concerns about the impact on the tech sector, while a Biden win and a split Congress may imply another four years of limited policy changes and politicking,” said Mary Nicola, senior economist at Pinebridge Investments in Singapore.