World markets were mixed on Thursday after the U.S. midterm elections quelled fears of a drastic shift in policies.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany‘s DAX fell back, losing 0.3 percent to 11,548.69 and the CAC 40 in France slipped 0.2 percent to 5,127.63. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.2 percent to 7,128.18. Wall Street was set to open lower after rebounding in the previous session. Futures for the S&P 500 index fell 0.5 percent to 2,812.80. Dow futures lost 0.3 percent lower to 26,173.00.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rallied 1.8 percent to 22,486.92, even as machinery orders slid a record 18.3 percent in September from the previous month because of natural disasters. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7 percent to 2,092.63. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 percent to 26,227.72, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2 percent to 2,635.63. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 5,928.20. Shares were higher in Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia.
U.S. MIDTERMS: In line with most polls, the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives while the Republicans held on to a majority in the Senate. A larger Democratic presence could act as a check on President Donald Trump, but it is unlikely to change his position on big agenda items. This sat well with investors, as politics is that much less likely to crowd out the performance of the strong U.S. economy. A Federal Reserve meeting ending Thursday is not expected to result in an interest rate hike.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “While it is tempting to extrapolate the risk rally through to the end of the year, it must be noted that a split Congress should have no bearing on how Trump intends to handle the U.S.-China trade war,” DBS Group Research said in a commentary. “On this front, market participants are hoping that Trump will be able to cut a deal with Xi, with further meetings planned for the G-20 summit at the end of the month,” it added.
CHINESE TRADE: China’s exports grew in October despite higher tariffs on its goods by the U.S., official data showed. Its total exports saw a 15.6 percent year-on-year increase, as compared to a 14.5 percent pick-up in September. The country’s imports also accelerated 21.4 percent from a year earlier, as compared to a 14.3 percent increase in the previous month. Separately, China’s foreign currency reserves declined in October, in a sign that the government might be intervening to keep its yuan from falling too far against the dollar.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 64 cents to $62.31 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 54 cents to $61.67 a barrel in New York. Brent crude added 81 cents to $72.88. The contract dropped 6 cents to close at $72.07 in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.69 yen from 113.57 yen late Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1432 from $1.1426.
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