Asian shares in a wide-ranging rally on the eve of US elections
By: Ashwathy Nair
- Ahead of the US election polls, the dollar and gold kept ground in political uncertainty.
- In the race, polling indicated a greater probability of a Democratic sweep.
- In national opinion polls, Trump leads Biden, but polls in the swing states that will determine the election indicate a closer contest.
On Tuesday, Asian shares got off to a strong start with investors keeping up the strong factory output data from major economies. While, ahead of the US election polls, the dollar and gold kept ground in political uncertainty.
A last-ditch push for votes was made by President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden in battleground states. Their campaigns were arranged for post-election disputes that could extend a disruptive presidential election.
Even though, many market participants expect short-term volatility, mainly after jittery week, US stock futures traded higher. S&P 500 futures rose 0.5%, EUROSTOXX 50 futures gained 1% and FTSE futures gained 0.9%.
Polls were proposing a greater likelihood of a Democratic sweep in the election, strategists at Blackrock Investment Institute said.
The strategists, in a report, said that “In that scenario, we are beginning to integrate themes we think will outperform, shifting towards a more pro-risk stance overall amid the market pullback last week”.
Up for the second straight day, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1 per cent. The gauge is just 1 per cent short of a 2-1/2 year peak hit in mid-October and up 5 per cent this year so far.
South Korea’s main index progressed 1.7 percent, markets in Hong Kong and Sydney grew 2 percent, and Chinese blue chips climbed 0.8 percent. For a holiday, Japanese markets were closed.
BlackRock Investment said, “As China and other Asian economies have done a better job of controlling COVID-19 and are further ahead in the economic reboot, we are upgrading Asia ex-Japan equities and Asia fixed income to overweight”.
As per the data that showed, economic activity was improving across the board. “It is expected that this dynamic would continue over the months ahead”.
The founder of Chaikin Analytics, a Philadelphia-based quantitative investment analysis company, Marc Chaikin said, “The secret to the short-term stock market is uncertainty about an unpredictable and timely election result and the prospect of a contested outcome.”
Australia’s ASX 200 enlarged the most in three weeks ahead of the country’s central bank’s widely expected reduction in the benchmark interest rate.
After two weeks of selling, oil prices strengthened, with Brent futures declining 0.1 per cent to $38.90 a barrel, but holding on to much of an overnight rebound.
Nevertheless, as some investors sought after safety, the instability of the US election and the revival of COVID-19 cases in Europe and the United States helped the dollar and gold prices.