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World markets, Wall Street futures rise on US election day

In this Monday file photo, a giant American Flag hangs on the New York Stock Exchange. US stocks are climbing Monday, kicking off a potentially turbulent stretch for markets, as Wall Street recovers some of its sharp sell-off from last week. (AP-Yonhap)
In this Monday file photo, a giant American Flag hangs on the New York Stock Exchange. US stocks are climbing Monday, kicking off a potentially turbulent stretch for markets, as Wall Street recovers some of its sharp sell-off from last week. (AP-Yonhap)
BEIJING (AP) -- Global stock markets and US futures rose Tuesday on investor hopes that a possible victory by challenger Joe Biden in the American presidential election might lead to more economic stimulus.

Dow futures were up 1.6% while those for the S&P 500 were 1.3 percent higher ahead of the start of trading on Wall Street. European indexes were up firmly in midday trading, while Asian markets closed higher.

Traders are betting Biden might push for a bigger US stimulus package if he unseats President Donald Trump. That would require support in the Senate, which is controlled by Trump's Republicans. Some incumbents, also up for re-election this week, face challengers from Biden's Democratic Party.

On Monday, Wall Street closed higher amid indications Biden might be leading.

Many investors expect a "Democratic sweep, which is the key to unlocking Congress's ability to deliver significant fiscal stimulus," said Stephen Innes of Axi in a report.

Which party gets control of the Senate may be just as important as the presidency. If Democrats can gain complete control of Washington, many investors expect them to deliver a big dose of support for the economy.

Democrats and Republicans have been haggling about a stimulus renewal for months, since the last round of supplemental benefits for laid-off workers and other stimulus expired. But a deep partisan divide has so far stymied progress.

Investors and economists alike say the economy needs fresh stimulus, particularly when coronavirus counts are accelerating at troubling rates across Europe and much of the United States.

A contested election, conversely, would mean it could be weeks before the winner of the White House is certain.

The FTSE 100 in London rose 2 percent to 5,767 and the DAX in Frankfurt advanced 1.8% percent to 11,997. The CAC 40 in France added 2 percent to 4,786.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4 percent to close at 3,271.07 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 2 percent  to 24,939.73. The Kospi in Seoul gained 1.9 percent to 2,343.31 and India's Sensex advanced 1.4 percent to 40,304.02. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

In Sydney, the S&P-ASX 200 rose 1.9 percent to 6,066.40 after Australia's central bank, as expected, cuts its key interest rate by 0.15 percentage points to 0.1 percent.

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe, said it was committed to doing what it can to create jobs. The economy contracted in the first half, but Lowe said he expects official data to show some growth in the quarter ending in September.

Investors will also monitor the US Federal Reserve's announcement Thursday of its latest decision on interest rates. The US Labor Department will release its monthly jobs report the following day. About 130 companies in the S&P 500 are scheduled to report earnings results this week.

In other trading, benchmark US crude oil added $1.23 to $38.04 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained $1.02 on Monday to $36.81 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, advanced $1.19 to $40.16. It rose $1.03 to $38.97 the previous session.

The dollar declined to 104.69 yen from Monday's 104.75 yen. The euro gained to $1.1705 from $1.1658.

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