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Markets hold breath as final votes tallied in US battleground states

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US stock futures took a breather in after-hours trade on Wednesday, as ballots were tallied in several states that should decide whether Democratic challenger Joe Biden unseats President Donald Trump in an election that remains too close to call.

[BENGALURU] US stock futures took a breather in after-hours trade on Wednesday, as ballots were tallied in several states that should decide whether Democratic challenger Joe Biden unseats President Donald Trump in an election that remains too close to call.

S&P e-mini futures were up 0.25 per cent on the heels of a 2.3 per cent rally in the S&P 500 on Wednesday, catalysed by the prospect of gridlock in Congress after Democrats appeared to have failed to take control of the US Senate. That raised optimism that disruptive policy changes would be hard to implement regardless of the winner in the presidential contest.

By early Asian trade the dollar index had ceded its gains and was up a tad at 93.53 after touching a one-month high of 94.308 during the US day.

US 10-year Treasury note futures extended a huge gain after Treasury yields fell hard on Wednesday.

JIM WILDING

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WEALTH MANAGER, PARTNER, CONFLUENCE FINANCIAL PARTNERS, PITTSBURGH, PA

"A Biden Presidency with divided government (REP Senate, DEM House) would very likely result in more gridlock, and a more neutral impact on markets. We could see increased spending for infrastructure and economic recovery, but limited legislation changes and limited support for tax increases.

"If Trump is reelected, and the Senate remains Republican, we are unlikely to see tax increase, which would be viewed as a positive by the market. Trade battles with China would likely intensify and regulatory changes may pick up even more. An infrastructure bill could also be possible.

"Hopefully, we have election results before Thanksgiving!"

BRAD KARP

CHAIRMAN AT LAW FIRM PAUL, WEISS, NEW YORK

"As the mail-in ballots continue to be counted in several key Midwestern states, it now appears clear that Vice President Biden will secure the required 270 electoral votes to become the 46th President of the United States. Nearly as important as the ultimate electoral outcome is the need for that result to be respected as legitimate across the county.

"The efforts by Mr Trump and his lawyers to try to disrupt and discredit the vote count are disheartening and run counter the bedrock principle of our democracy that every legitimate vote be counted.

Calls to disrupt the lawful counting of legitimate ballots, or, even worse, baseless rhetoric casting doubt on the results, should be shut down by Republican leaders. These cynical efforts both to ignore valid ballots and to undermine the results of a legitimate election have no place in our democracy."

REUTERS

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