1. Tech Rebound Powers U.S. Stocks Higher

Stocks rallied globally as investors rushed back into technology and health-care firms on bets that the U.S. election results will trigger no major tax hikes or regulatory changes that would derail these sectors. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 jumped another 2.6% after the underlying index surged on Wednesday when the vote count failed to produce a clear Democratic sweep as some had expected. The reduced likelihood of a multi-trillion-dollar stimulus package in a divided Congress helped pushed the dollar down the most versus the euro since March. Increases in tech shares and some strong corporate results lifted the Stoxx Europe 600 index. 

Futures on the S&P 500 Index increased 1.8% as of early morning New York time.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.9%.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 2.5%.

2. Biden’s Wins in Michigan, Wisconsin Put Him on Brink of Victory

Joe Biden stood on the brink of claiming the presidency from Donald Trump on Thursday, with a handful of states expecting to complete their vote counts despite Republicans opening legal fights to stop counting in at least two states. Biden held 264 Electoral College votes out of the 270 needed to win the White House, according to the Associated Press. Trump has 214. Biden needs only to win an additional outstanding state, such as Nevada, where he is narrowly leading, or Georgia, where his campaign believes mailed votes will push him over the top. He also likely needs to hold Arizona, which the Associated Press has called in his favor but which the Trump campaign says it can still win. A Biden win in Pennsylvania could also clinch the race.

3. More Americans Than Forecasted Apply for Jobless Benefits

More Americans than expected filed for state unemployment benefits last week, underscoring continued churn in a labour market that continues to recover only gradually. Initial jobless claims in regular state programs totalled 751,000 in the week ended Oct. 31, down from an upwardly revised 758,000 in the prior week, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Continuing claims – or the total number of Americans claiming ongoing state unemployment assistance – fell by 538,000 to 73 lakh in the week ended Oct. 24, the sixth straight decline. Still, the number of people claiming support in a federal program that offers extended assistance increased as more Americans exhausted their regular state benefits.

4. Saudis Cut Oil Prices for Asia as Virus Clouds Energy Market

Saudi Arabia cut most oil pricing for its customers in Asia and the U.S. as a resurgence in the coronavirus clouds the outlook for energy markets. State producer Saudi Aramco decreased December pricing for shipments of Arab Light crude to Asia, its largest regional market. Oil dropped around 10% last week as European nations including Germany and France announced new lockdowns and daily virus cases hit a record in the U.S. While crude has since recovered most of those losses, the market continues to face headwinds, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said.

5. Saudi Arabia’s PIF Invests About $1.3 Billion in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, or PIF, plans to invest about $1.3 billion (INR 9600 cr) in Mukesh Ambani’s retail unit as Asia’s richest man continues to add marquee backers in a fundraising spree. The sovereign wealth fund will pick a 2.04% stake in Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. The stake sale values India’s largest retailer at about $62.4 billion (INR 4.62 lakh cr). This will be the third investment for PIF into Reliance, helmed by Ambani, as he seeks to transform the company into a retail and technology behemoth and pivot away from its staple oil-refining business that he inherited in 2002.

6. TikTok’s Parent ByteDance Seeks to Raise Cash at $180 Billion Valuation

ByteDance is in discussions to raise $2 billion (INR 14,800 cr) before listing some of its businesses in Hong Kong, even as it seeks to avoid a ban on its TikTok service in the U.S. The Chinese company is in talks with a group of investors including Sequoia over funding that would boost its valuation to $180 billion. ByteDance could then start preparing some of its biggest assets including Douyin and Toutiao for an IPO in Hong Kong. The company was previously valued at $140 billion. ByteDance, already the world’s most valuable startup, is in the throes of fighting a Trump administration ban on TikTok in the U.S. after the video service was labelled a national security threat.

7. Bitcoin Extends Rally With Chart Watchers Eyeing $20,000

Bitcoin is in rally mode once more. Whether it’s uncertainty from the U.S. election, the future of the pandemic or simply more investor interest, the cryptocurrency is at the highest level since January 2018. Bitcoin was up 3.3% at $14,463 (INR 10.7 lakh). The digital currency has been benefiting from high-profile investments from the likes of Square Inc. and Paul Tudor Jones. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s JPM Coin was reportedly used to make a payment for the first time. Proponents argue bitcoin can be a diversifier in times of uncertainty, so events like lockdowns across Europe or delays of U.S. election results could be fueling its rise.

8. Indonesia slumps into first recession since the 1998 Asian crisis

Indonesia fell into recession for the first time in more than 20 years in the third quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic battered consumption and business activity in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 3.49% on an annual basis in the July-September period, data from the statistics bureau showed, slightly more than the 3% contraction expected. The economy contracted 5.32% year-on-year in the second quarter. The government says its economy is showing signs of improvement, but analysts say they see more weakness over the coming months.

9. IBM unveils cloud for 5G telcos, gets Nokia and Samsung as partners

International Business Machines Corp on Thursday became the latest U.S. technology company to launch a cloud platform directed at telecom operators deploying 5G and signed up Nokia and Samsung as partners. A cloud platform uses software instead of physical equipment to do network functions, helping telecom operators to build 5G networks faster, reduce costs and sell customised services to business clients. The U.S. government has been pushing big U.S. companies to get more involved with 5G – a technology which promises to enable everything from self-driving cars to remote surgery and more automated manufacturing. Companies such as Microsoft and Amazon have launched their own cloud platforms targeting telecom operators. IBM will supply services to its telecom partners to run their networks and also to assist them in selling custom products to their customers

10. Dutch bank ING to cut 1,000 jobs by the end of next year as virus crisis hits

Dutch bank ING said Thursday it will shed 1,000 jobs by the end of 2021 and close offices in South America and Asia as the coronavirus pandemic hits the global economy. The job losses come despite “resilient” third-quarter results, with profits down 41.4% and revenue down 7.3%, the bank said in a statement. “The pandemic continues to have a significant impact everywhere, with the second wave in Europe and the US putting further pressure on consumers and businesses,” ING CEO Steven van Rijswijk said. ING is the Netherlands’ number one bank, employing 53,000 people in more than 40 countries.

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