FTSE 100 rises despite Covid-19 lockdown worries as traders await key result for Joe Biden’s Democrats in Georgia election


he FTSE 100 was set to rise in early trading today despite concerns from some investors that Democrat Joe Biden was set to win control of Congress, leading to higher taxes in the world’s biggest economy.

Reports this morning suggested his Democratic party could win two run-off Senate elections in Georgia, handing them control of the chamber.

Biden has proposed to reverse Donald Trump’s tax cut, increase the minimum wage and strengthen regulation of industry, so the early calls of a Democrat double-win were causing some selling pressure in Japanese shares this morning.

However, political analysts cautioned that it was still too tight to call, while investment bulls added that Biden would also push through more generous stimulus packages to help America get through the Covid crisis.

Chinese shares rose to their highest point since 2008 despite another surprising lurch from the New York Stock Exchange on its treatment of three Chinese telecoms giants. Having first said it would allow them to remain listed in defiance of a Trump ban, last night it said it was reconsidering again.

Amid all those mixed signals, the FTSE was being called up 42.7 points at 6640 by traders on the IG Index platform.

Oil prices held onto their gains this morning after Saudi Arabia’s offer to cut output which caused big gains for BP and Shell this week.

Bitcoin rose more than 5% to a new record of $35,879.

Covid news continues to dominate the short-term outlook views on investors as cases continued to rise across the world and lockdowns toughened in Germany while France’s dismal effort to vaccinate caused concerns. 

Reports have suggested the Macron government was holding back until a French vaccine – from Sanofi and Britain’s GSK – is ready.

Share prices in general continued to look through the crisis to the second half of the year when economists hope for a rebound in the UK and other major economies. 

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