Asian shares up

    748

    SINGAPORE- Asian shares got off to a strong start on Tuesday, with investors buoyed by strong factory output data from major economies, while the dollar and gold held ground on political uncertainty ahead of US elections.

    President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden made a last-ditch push for votes in battleground states as their campaigns prepared for post-election disputes that could prolong a divisive presidential election.

    US stock futures traded higher, even though many market participants expect short-term volatility, especially after a jittery week. S&P 500 futures rose 0.5 percent, EUROSTOXX 50 futures gained 1 percent and FTSE futures FFIc1 put on 0.9 percent.

    Strategists at Blackrock Investment Institute said polls were suggesting a greater likelihood of a Democratic sweep in the election.

    “We are starting to incorporate themes we believe would outperform in that event, moving toward a more pro-risk stance overall despite last week’s market pullback,” the strategists said in a report.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1 percent, up for the second straight day. The gauge is just 1 percent shy of a 2-1/2 year high struck in mid-October and up 5 percent so far this year.

    South Korea’s main index advanced 1.7 percent, markets in Hong Kong and Sydney rose 2 percent and Chinese blue chips put on 0.8 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. – Reuters