Markets lifted by Biden transition and vaccine optimism – business live | Business

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Markets lifted by Biden transition and vaccine optimism – business live | Business

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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden holding a videoconference meeting yesterday U.S. President-elect Joe Biden holding a videoconference meeting yesterday Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

Global markets are gaining ground this morning on relief that Joe Biden can finally begin the formal transition from Donald Trump’s administration.

Nearly three weeks after election day, America’s General Services Administration has concluded that president-elect Biden is the apparent winner.

GSA chief Emily Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden on Monday that she “came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts” Usually this is a formality, but the GSA has been delaying its certification while Trump’s legal challenges played out.

The move means that Biden’s team can, at last, obtain millions of dollars in transition resources, access government data and make contact with federal agencies.

It should help the Biden team to prepare for the challenges ahead, particularly the Covid-19 pandemic where cases and deaths are rising alarmingly across the country.

News of the GSA’s decision has lifted markets in the Asia-Pacific region, sending Japan’s Nikkei shooting up 2.5% to close at its highest level since May 1991.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped by 1.2%, and South Korea’s Kospi 200 gained 0.5%.

Stephen Innes of Axi says the threat of the ‘power vacuum’ in Washington is fading, following the GSA’s move.

Meanwhile, several Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump and acknowledging Biden as the election winner. Uncertainty about the election outcome in the context of lawsuits alleging voter fraud in some key states wasn’t materially holding back risk sentiment.

Still, the GSA’s announcement is vol-suppressing at the margin. And that is having a positive effect across markets as the power vacuum in Washington looks to be sucking less life out of the markets.

European markets are set for solid gains today too:

IGSquawk (@IGSquawk)

European Opening Calls:#FTSE 6376 +0.66%#DAX 13250 +0.94%#CAC 5540 +0.87%#AEX 606 +0.85%#MIB 21918 +1.00%#IBEX 8055 +0.92%#OMX 1935 +0.68%#STOXX 3492 +0.83%#IGOpeningCall

November 24, 2020

Yohannes Abraham, executive director of the Biden transition, says the GSA’s move is:

“is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track”.

In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”

President Trump said on Twitter he had directed his team to cooperate on the transition. However, he’s yet to drop his legal action claiming – without evidence – that the election was rigged, despite a series of courtroom defeats.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

…fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.

November 23, 2020
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history? We are moving full speed ahead. Will never concede to fake ballots & “Dominion”.

November 24, 2020

The move came as to CEOs piled pressure on the GSA to start the transition process. More than 160 civic and business leaders, including David Solomon of Goldman Sachs and Larry Fink of BlackRock, signed a letter calling for a proper transition to begin.

Every day that an orderly presidential transition process is delayed, our democracy grows weaker in the eyes of our own citizens and the nation’s stature on the global stage is diminished.

Investors were also encouraged by Monday’s news that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine can be up to 90% effective, boosting hopes of ending the pandemic.

The agenda

  • 7.45am GMT: French business confidence report for November
  • 9am GMT: IFO survey of German business climate in November
  • 2pm GMT: US house price index for September
  • 3pm GMT: US Consumer Confidence survey for November

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