Biden win removes uncertainty for markets

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics and Business Correspondent
·3-min read

Australian share markets look set for a firm opening on Monday as global markets cast aside the uncertainty of the US presidential election.

Joe Biden has been declared the 46th president on US networks, but outgoing President Donald Trump has yet to concede defeat and will mount a series of legal challenges on Monday.

Nigel Green, chief executive of financial advisor deVere Group believes President-elect Biden will deliver a boost to global stock markets and the US and world economy.

"Although a Biden win was pretty much priced in by the markets, his victory will eliminate uncertainty - which they loathe - and they will rally further as a result," Mr Green said.

"Even possible legal challenges from Trump will be dismissed by investors who will instead be focusing on the renewed certainty and stability that a Biden White House will bring."

Australian share futures were 15 points higher, or 0.2 per cent, at 6202 points.

On Friday the ASX 200 finished 0.8 per cent higher, and 4.4 per cent up on the week, its best performance since early October.

Wall Street paused for breath on Friday after a strong rally over the week and despite the uncertainty generated by the US election.

The S&P 500 inched down less than 0.1 per cent to 3,509.44, but posted a 7.3 per cent gain for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2 per cent to 28,323.40 and the Nasdaq composite edged up less than 0.1 per cent to 11,895.23.

Australia releases a series of confidence readings over the week, but they are unlikely to capture the result of the US election.

However, they will take into account the Reserve Bank's decision to cut the cash rate to a record low 0.1 per cent and the decision by the four major retail banks not to pass on the reduction to their customers' variable rate mortgages.

Instead, the big four banks reduced the rates on their fixed rate mortgages, meaning borrowers would have to switch their home loan to benefit from the monetary policy easing, unless they can secure a cheaper rate by getting in touch with their lender.

However, a number of smaller mortgage providers did cut their variable rates between 10 and 20 basis points.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index is released on Tuesday.

The index - a pointer to future household spending - has risen for nine straight weeks to its highest level since March, buoyed by a tax-cutting budget and falling cases of COVID-19.

National Australia Bank will release its monthly business survey for October on Tuesday, which will take into account the federal budget and the Reserve Bank's actions, as well as the deteriorating trade relationship with China.

On Wednesday, the monthly Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment survey for November will be issued.

In October, the survey posted its biggest positive response to a budget in at least 10 years.