Asian equities rallied yesterday, joining a goldrush across world markets as the initial shock of Donald Trump’s election win was replaced by hopes his plan to kickstart the US economy will succeed.
Trading screens were awash with red Wednesday as the region’s investors were the first to react to news that the firebrand tycoon had defeated market favourite Hillary Clinton, upending expectations.
However, a reassuring victory speech – followed by calls from Clinton and President Barack Obama to get behind Trump – provided some encouragement to traders, sending risk assets rallying.
Most markets in Asia either entirely reversed or clawed back most of the previous day’s losses, while the dollar pushed higher.
The greenback had come under pressure on worries that uncertainty over Trump’s policies would cause the Federal Reserve to hold off an interest rate rise, but analysts said those worries had abated for now.
Tokyo closed up 6.7%, with a plunging yen providing support.
The dollar dallied with 106 yen before easing slightly, well up from Wednesday’s low of 101.20 yen. Hong Kong gained 1.9% and Shanghai closed 1.4% up.
Sydney closed 3.3% higher, Seoul jumped 2% and Taipei put on 2.4%.
There were also gains of more than 1% in Wellington, Singapore and Manila.
The pharma and financial sectors were among the biggest winners regionally on hopes Trump will move to loosen US regulations affecting their industries.
CMC Markets strategist Michael McCarthy said it appeared a consensus was building that much of Trump’s extreme rhetoric during the campaign “was a sales pitch rather than a commitment to act”.
“Investors ignored the potential for damage to international trade and growth prospects and focused on Republican control of both houses of Congress as well as the White House,” he said. “This offers the prospect of reform that could stimulate the US
And Grant Williamson, an investment adviser at brokerage Hamilton Hindin Greene in New Zealand told Bloomberg News: “He’ll certainly be friendly to American business and that could very well stimulate their economy.” The push back into higher-yielding, or riskier, investments also saw safe-haven gold tumble 1.4% to $1,285.96 – having spiked on Wednesday at almost $1,340.
The Mexican peso, which hit a record low 20.80 against the dollar on Trump’s win, also strengthened yesterday but it remains under pressure owing to fears about Trump’s policy plans. While on the campaign trail the president-elect often made anti-Mexican promises including a pledge to remove undocumented immigrants, build a border wall and tear up a long-standing trade deal.
Despite the rally yesterday, Daisuke Karakama, market economist at Mizuho Bank, sounded a note of caution.
He said that while there is talk Trump’s plans for large fiscal spending and tax cuts could boost the economy and dollar, that was only the positive scenario.
“There are no resources to finance his tax cuts and there was no guarantee that he could get along with Congress given the divide between him and mainstream Republicans,” he told AFP.
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