London (AFP) -
Stock markets rallied Monday as Joe Biden's election win reduced uncertainty and provided hope that the US would finally agree on a stimulus package to prop up the ailing economy.
Approaching the half-way stage, Europe's main stock markets were up between around 1.5 and 2.0 percent following similar advances in Asia.
Dollar gains were held in check by expectations of a big spending bill and US rates being kept at record lows for the foreseeable future.
The Chinese yuan reached its highest level since June 2018 on easing concerns about relations between Beijing and Washington.
Oil prices rallied more than two percent on hopes that new economic help will boost demand, though the imposition of fresh virus lockdowns in several countries in Europe is keeping a lid on gains.
While Democrat Biden has secured enough votes for victory, Republican rival Donald Trump has refused to accept defeat, with legal challenges and recounts looming.
Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said Trump's actions are seen by markets 'as achieving nothing more than delaying the inevitable'.
Stocks already began surging last week as it became apparent that Biden was on course for victory and that Republicans would likely hold the Senate, allowing them to rein in any big regulatory or tax policies.
On Monday in Asia, Tokyo's main stocks index soared more than two percent to end at a 29-year high.
Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore and Seoul all gained more than one percent, while Bangkok rose over two percent.
- Focus on stimulus -
Traders are now looking to Capitol Hill, hoping for a fresh rescue package for the US economy after lawmakers failed to hammer out anything ahead of the vote despite months of haggling.
'More fiscal support is likely forthcoming,' said Invesco strategist Brian Levitt.
'While it may not be the outsize fiscal package that the Democrats had envisioned, it will likely be large enough to provide an additional boost to the economic recovery.'
Observers said better-than-expected US jobs data last week could complicate moves to push a bigger spending bill through Congress, with Republicans already suggesting they would rather pass a more targeted package.
The economy added 638,000 jobs last month, far more than analysts estimated, and the unemployment rate fell one percentage point.
Analysts said a new stimulus was crucial for helping the economy as coronavirus spreads rapidly through the United States, with almost 10 million people having contracted it there.
'The way things are going, a vaccine announcement could turbo charge these markets,' said analyst Erlam.
- Key figures around 1030 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 1.4 percent at 5,990.57 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.9 percent at 12,717.96
Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.6 percent at 5,039.65
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.8 percent at 3,260.33
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.1 percent to 24,839.84 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.2 percent to 26,016.17 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.9 percent to 3,373.73 (close)
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.2 percent at 28,323.40 (close Friday)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1873 from $1.1872 at 2215 GMT
Dollar/yen: UP at 103.67 yen from 103.33 yen
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3146 from $1.3156
Euro/pound: UP at 90.33 pence from 90.22 pence
West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.4 percent at $38.03 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.3 percent at $40.36 per barrel