• By The Financial District


Asian shares were set to track Wall Street gains on Thursday, as renewed hopes for more US stimulus helped restore investor confidence in the New York session, Imani Moise reported for Reuters.

Markets are also starting to price in a Democratic sweep during the US election in November as new polls show former Vice President Joe Biden with a firm lead. Investors see such an outcome making the passage of a new stimulus bill more likely.

“Even if there was no slimmed down stimulus package, there is a greater chance of a larger stimulus package later,” National Australia Bank analyst Tapas Strickland said of a potential Biden victory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.91%, the S&P 500 gained 1.74% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.88%. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.05%.

Gains in Asian futures were more muted ahead of a US employment data release that’s expected to show the recovery in the world’s largest economy losing steam. Economists forecast a decline in jobless claims however, while continued claims are expected to remain firmly above 10 million. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.07%. Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.42% in early Asia trade. Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures added 0.08%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures rose 0.29%.