S & P / ASX 200 index closed up 0.4% at 5,951.30, following Friday’s 0.6% drop.
Global markets await hotly contested US elections, with Democrat Joe Biden taking the national lead over President Donald Trump. Nevertheless, Trump remains competitive in states that can determine White House elections.
“Some attention is turning to the outcome of who will hold the Senate, as the Biden White House without Democrats’ control of the Senate could still mean it is difficult to slow progress on a new fiscal stimulus package,” said James Tao, market analyst at CommSec.
Wall Street, along with global markets, has swayed wildly in volatility in the weeks leading up to US elections over the implementation of a stimulus deal to revive the pandemic-hit economy.
However, the market was cheered up after data from China signaled that factory activity in October had expanded at its fastest pace in a decade.
On the domestic front, the Australian gold index rose 1.1%, helped by rising gold prices, as increasing global uncertainty attracted investors to gold security.
Catalyst Metals was up 6.1% while Bellevue Gold was up 4%.
That heavyweight financial sector rose 0.4% after the nation’s second-largest lender Westpac posted full-year results and said it intends to return to its semi-annual dividend cycle.
“Westpac Bank this morning announced its intention to continue dividends. This is a positive for the finances today,” Smoling said.
AMP Ltd jumped 10% after the wealth manager said a proposed takeover offer from Ares Management implies a 21% premium to Friday’s closing price.
New Zealand’s benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index slumped 0.1% to 12,070.83.
Heartland Group Holdings fell 5.2% while Pacific Edge fell 4.2%.
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