Shares on the Australian market is about one per cent higher and most sectors are up after Wall Street closed higher despite uncertainty over the US election outcome.
Early election results on Wednesday prompted a number of swings on the ASX, but on Thursday the major indices have mostly kept moving higher.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was up 60.3 points, or 0.99 per cent, to 6122.4 at 1200 AEDT.
The All Ordinaries was higher by 60.8 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 6325.8.
Health care led the sectors, better by 2.87 per cent.
Financials rose 0.67 per cent after investors accepted NAB’s full-year earnings, while materials slipped 0.61 per cent.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden looked likely to unseat President Donald Trump as vote counting continued in the US election.
While the outcome was less clear when US markets closed, investors were heartened by the likelihood of gridlock in Congress.
This would make major policy changes difficult.
In Australia, the car market is showing signs of recovery after a coronavirus-induced slump earlier this year.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says 81,220 new cars and trucks were sold in October, down just 1.5 per cent on the same month last year.
The federal government has signed a deal with Novavax to supply 40 million coronavirus vaccine doses and Pfizer-BioNTech for 10 million doses.
This brings the government’s COVID-19 vaccine investment to more than $3.2 billion, adding to deals with UQ-CSL and Oxford-AstraZeneca.
National Australia Bank reported a 46.7 per cent slump in full-year earnings due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
But National Australia Bank is cautiously optimistic about the future, saying federal government stimulus measures for households and business should “provide a bridge to economic recovery”.
NAB’s bottom line net profit fell to $2.6 billion for the year ended September, compared with $4.8 billion in the previous corresponding period.
NAB declared a fully franked final dividend of 30 cents per share, taking the total payout for the year to 60 cents per share.
Shares were higher by 1.87 per cent to $19.05.
Among major rivals, ANZ had not changed at $19.30, the Commonwealth was up 1.06 per cent to $69.14 and Westpac increased 0.95 per cent to $17.51.
In the top performing health sector, CSL rose 3.48 per cent to $30.17.
An inquiry into Crown Resorts’ suitability to run a new Sydney casino has heard James Packer’s “shameful” and “disgraceful” conduct means he should not be involved.
The NSW casino regulator had approved the billionaire to be involved, but counsel assisting the inquiry said the state’s Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority should reconsider.
Crown shares were up 1.54 per cent to $8.55.
In mining, BHP lost 0.72 per cent to $34.03, Rio Tinto declined 1.25 per cent to $91.56 and Fortescue gained 1.36 per cent to $16.71.
In earlier US market results, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 367.63 points, or 1.34 per cent, to 27,847.66, the S&P 500 gained 74.28 points, or 2.20 per cent, to 3,443.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 430.21 points, or 3.85 per cent, to 11,590.78.
The Aussie dollar was buying 71.72 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.21 US cents at the close of trade on Wednesday.