Asian shares inched close to 2-1/2-year highs on Friday as revived hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal eclipsed weaker-than-expected jobs data, while mainland Chinese markets jumped after a week-long holiday.
Investors are also increasingly expecting the Democrats to take back the White House, and possibly the Senate as well, in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, analysts said.
A widening lead for Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden is seen as reducing the risk of a contested election and opening the way for a big economic stimulus, helping to counter investors’ wariness about a Democrat pledge to hike corporate tax rates.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.15%, inching closer to its Aug. 31 peak, which was its highest level since March 2018. China’s index gained 1.68% after the Golden Week holidays.
Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.1% after hitting a 7 1/2-month high, while futures for the S&P 500 gained 0.47%.