Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
After days of high electoral drama, global stock markets are on track for their best week in months.
Britain’s FTSE 100 has surged by 6% since Monday morning – the strongest rise since June – as shares recover from last week slump.
In New York, the US Dow Jones industrial average has already gained 7%, which would be the biggest weekly rise since April.
But there’s still a day to go until the weekend. And there’s an edgy feel in the markets today, as Joe Biden continues to narrow the gap on Donald Trump in two key states – Georgia and Pennsylvania.
As things stand, Biden is trailing by about 1,700 votes in Georgia, and 22,500 in Pennsylvania as the mail-in ballots (which have largely favoured the Democrats) continue to be counted.
While Biden edges closer to the White House, the current president delivered a quite shocking series of falsehoods last night – wrongly claiming that “illegal votes” were being used to “steal” the election.
The prospects of a protracted and fraught battle in the days, or even weeks, ahead could send a few shivers through trading floors. So after days of strong gains, investors may be a little more cautious today while the drama plays out.
Fiona Cincotta of Gain Capital sums up the situation:
European markets see a weaker start after a strong post-election bounce.
The final result of the US Presidential election has yet to be announced although Joe Biden has extended his lead and Trump’s legal challenge to stop counting in Michigan and Georgia has been thrown out. The markets are still leaning towards Biden win together with a split Congress
Normally, today would be dominated by the latest US unemployment data. October’s Non-Farm Payroll is expected to show a fall in job creation, down to 600k from 661k in September. A weak reading would bolster concerns that America’s recovery is slowing, and in need of new fiscal stimulus from Congress.
But that will have to wait until the election drama has played out.
We’re also expecting new house price data that will show whether Britain’s property market is still booming, or if the slowing economy and Covid-19 lockdowns are denting demand.
- 8.30am GMT: Halifax survey of UK house prices in October
- 1.30pm GMT: US jobs report for October