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The strong post-election run for equities is continuing on the local market following another big rally on Wall Street as Joe Biden looks most likely to take the US Presidency. Markets are moving on the fact that there is likely to be political deadlock with the US Senate likely to remain in control by Republicans, meaning sweeping regulatory reforms are unlikely.

The ASX 200 was up as much as 62 points or 1% but is fading towards lunch. The index remains firmer and is 40 points or 0.67% at 6,180 around midday. Today’s gains are also adding to what has been a positive week for local shares with the Aussie market ~4% higher.

The materials sector is leading improvements on Friday while retailing, communications and IT are the other bigger winners. Utilities and property are underperforming most while energy and healthcare are mostly flat.

In company news, News Corp (NWS) is one of the major advancers with a 11.6% jump. The media giant released a 1Q21 update with a 10% drop in its revenue to US$2.12 billion, weighed by the sale of News America Marketing, but its digital segments showed strong earnings strength.

Elsewhere, Macquarie Group (MQG) is also lifting 1.2% on the release of its first half earnings results. The investment bank saw its net profit after tax (NPAT) tumble 32% to $985 million. Credit and other impairments more than tripled to $447 million, with much of it related to COVID-19 impacts. MQG will pay an interim dividend of $1.35/share but didn’t provide any meaningful FY21 guidance.

Shopping centre operator, Vicinity Centres (VCX) is 1.8% softer on a quarterly update. In the three months to September, rental collections were 56% of gross billings but if Victoria and CBD centres (hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions) collections were at 76%.

Tabcorp (TAH) have jumped on media speculation that it could be under a takeover by a Private Equity firm but this has been denied by the company, Still the TAH is up 16%.

The recent swings in the Aussie dollar has continued with the AUD buying 72.6 US cents. There was little reaction to the RBA’s quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy which upwardly revised economic growth forecasts but made downward revisions to jobless rate expectations.

Published by CommSec