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Here is what you need to know on Thursday, November 5:

Joe Biden is nearing the presidency as counting continues in several critical states and markets seem content that the results are only delayed. Hopes of stimulus are weaker as Republicans are on track to hold the House. Apart from the elections, the Fed, the BOE, several data points, and coronavirus statistics are eyed. 

US elections: Networks have called Michigan and Wisconsin for Democrat candidate Joe Biden, bringing his tally in the electoral college closer to 270 needed to win. Updates from Arizona – which some networks have called for Biden – are due shortly. Counting continues in Georgia and Pennsylvania, where President Donald Trump’s lead is diminishing.

Biden has a narrow lead in Nevada, which is due to report results later in the day. The former Vice-President expressed confidence in his chances of victory while the incumbent continues falsely claiming irregularities and is ready to go to the courts for recounts. 

S&P 500 futures continue higher after a rally on Wednesday, while the dollar edging lower, albeit in a limited fashion. EUR/USD has recaptured 1.17 while USD/JPY is trading under 104.50. 

Gold continues trading around the $1,900 level. WTI Crude Oil is holding on to its recovery of around $38. Bitcoin stands out by extending its gains above $14,000, hitting the highest since January 2018.

Republicans are on course to retain control of the Senate, with Democrats losing a critical battle in Maine picking up only a few seats. The bond market reflects lower chances of a stimulus, limiting the downfall of the dollar. On the other hand, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has said that he is open to state aid – a key Democratic demand he was reluctant on. 

See: Markets are cheering, but what exactly? Some answers and what’s next

The Bank of England has expanded its bond-buying scheme by £150 billion, more than expected, sending GBP/USD higher. Markets cheer the additional funds made available to the government for boosting the economy. 

UK: The second nationwide lockdown is coming into effect on Thursday after parliament approved it on Wednesday. Brexit talks have hit a snag once again, following several days of progress. The news that Brussels and London have “divergences” on several issues” has weighed on the pound. 

The Federal Reserve is forecast to leave its policies unchanged in a decision due out later in the day. The Fed previously pledged to keep interest rates low at least through 2022. Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, will address the press and his tone about the economy will be closely watched. 

US data: ADP’s private-sector jobs report missed estimates with 365,000 positions gained in October. The ISM Services Purchasing Managers’ Index beat expectations with 57.4 points, yet the employment component dropped. These two figures serve as clues toward Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls. Weekly jobless claims are on the docket for Thursday, with another small drop forecast. 

COVID-19 cases have surpassed the 100,000 daily marks in the US, while mortalities remain elevated yet stable. Germany hit a daily record of over 20,000. The virus has been on the back burner for traders but could come to the forefront. 

See Markets cheer prospects of a delayed Biden victory, not a contested election