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Trump, Biden trade blows as campaign enters final day


With hours to go until election day, US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger candidate Joe Biden are urging Americans not to vote for the other as equity markets brace for a rocky few days of political uncertainty.

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On the last day of the campaign ahead of the November 3 poll, Trump is wooing voters in the key states of Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to vote for him over Biden.

“This election comes down to a simple choice: do you want to be ruled by the arrogant, corrupt, ruthless, and (selfish) political class, or do you want to be governed by the American people themselves?” Trump asked the crowd in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Trump described Biden as “a career politician who hates you” and called himself “an outsider who will defend you like you have never been defended before.”

Trump often casts himself as a political outsider despite having occupied the White House during the past four years.

Biden, meanwhile, travelled to the swing state of Ohio to campaign, bringing four of his grandchildren with him.

The former vice president and current presidential nominee called Trump weak and unfit for office.

“This president likes to portray himself as a tough guy, a macho man,” Biden said, adding that Trump had been laughed at by world leaders when addressing the United Nations.

“Donald Trump isn’t strong, he’s weak. This is a president who not only doesn’t understand sacrifice, he doesn’t understand courage,” he added.

Biden touted his plans to bolster the middle class, including labour unions, and protect access to health care and social security.

Polls for in-person voting are due to open early on Tuesday but more than 95 million people around the country have already voted early, according to turnout-tracking database the US Elections Project.

This unprecedented number of early votes is due in large part to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and the need to maintain social-distancing on election day.

Meanwhile, Wall Street’s major indexes have bounced back after their steepest weekly loss since March as investors geared up for an event-packed week centred around the US presidential election.

Market participants expect short-term trading turmoil and major long-term policy shifts related to taxes, government spending, trade and regulation depending on whether President Donald Trump or his Democratic challenger Joe Biden wins the White House race.

Biden is ahead in US opinion polls but races are tight in battleground states that could tip the election to Trump.

Analysts said the outcome most likely to shake equity markets in the near term would be no immediate outcome at all on Tuesday night.

“Traders are trying to position themselves to the idea that just having a result will be good for the market,” said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

Investors betting on a Biden administration, which is expected to deliver a massive fiscal stimulus and promote green energy, have fuelled a rally in solar stocks, industrials and small-cap names in recent weeks.

On betting markets in Australia, Biden is the $1.50 favourite to win the Presidential Election while those wanting to back Trump are being offered $2.80 by Sportsbet.

 – AAP

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