Dow surges 491 points after US midterm elections

The local share market is set to open moderately higher, following Wall Street’s relief rally over the conclusion of the United States midterm elections.

While the US share market surged, the greenback weakened against major currencies overnight.

That led to the Australian dollar rising to 72.8 US cents, its highest level in about seven weeks.

The local currency also lifted to 55.4 British pence and 63.6 Euro cents.

Markets at 8:25am (AEDT):ASX SPI 200 +0.7pc at 5,905, ASX 200 (Wednesday’s close) +0.4pc at 5,897AUD: 72.77 US cents, 55.41 British pence, 63.62 Euro cents, 82.58 Japanese yen, $NZ1.07US: Dow Jones +2.1pc at 26,180, S&P 500 +2.1pc at 2,814, Nasdaq +2.6pc at 7,571Europe: FTSE +1.1pc at 7,117, DAX +0.8pc at 11,579, CAC +1.2pc at 5,138, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1pc at 3,244Commodities: Brent crude -0.1pc at $US72.03/barrel, spot gold -0.1pc at $US1,225.68/ounce, iron ore -0.6pc at $US75.27

The outcome of the US elections was one that financial markets had expected — with Democrats taking the House of Representatives and Republicans retaining their Senate majority.

Investors piled into technology and healthcare stocks, in particular, overnight.

A divided Congress means it could be tougher for the Trump administration to pass laws which tighten regulations in those two sectors. Analysts have called this a “best case scenario”.

“We expect to see legislative deadlock for the next two years, with an uptick in House hearings and political posturing while President Trump continues to push his agenda through executive action and the judiciary,” said Leerink analyst Ana Gupte.

Another attempt to repeal or replace former President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act (ACA) could now be off the table, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Zack Sopcak.

Shares in Apple (+3pc), Google (+3.6pc), Netflix (+5.4pc) and Amazon (+6.9pc) — which have been heavily

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