By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Asian shares inched towards 2-1/2-year highs on Friday as revived hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal eclipsed weaker-than-expected jobs data, while mainland Chinese markets jumped after a week-long holiday.
Investors were also increasingly expecting the Democrats to take back the White House, and possibly the Senate as well, in the Nov. 3 U.S. election, analysts said.
A widening lead for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is seen as reducing the risk of a contested election and opening the way for a big economic stimulus, helping to counter investors’ wariness about a Democrat pledge to hike corporate tax rates.
European shares are expected to open higher with Euro Stoxx50 futures STXEc1 rising 0.1% in early trade.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.34%, inching closer to its Aug. 31 peak, which was its highest level since March 2018.