Postelection Stock Rally Extends Into Asia

Date : 11/08/2018 @ 5:13AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Tencent Holding Ltd. (PC) (TCEHY)
Quote : 45.84  0.06 (0.13%) @ 8:59PM
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Postelection Stock Rally Extends Into Asia

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By Ben Eisen 

Markets rallied across Asia on Thursday, a day after the midterm vote fueled the biggest postelection jump in U.S. stocks in more than 35 years.

What's Happening

Asian stock indexes advanced, tracking the U.S. The benchmark S&P 500 rose 2.1% on Wednesday, the largest gain in the session after an Election Day since 1982. Some Asian indexes, including the Kospi and the Nikkei, had closed lower in the previous session after initially rising as the results unfolded.

Major companies were broadly higher. Tencent Holdings rose 2.1% in Hong Kong trading, while Samsung Electronics rose 1.4% in South Korea, and Toyota Motor climbed 1.1% in Japan.

The upswing helps reverse some of last month's declines, when markets around the world were hit by worries about trade tensions, rising U.S. interest rates and the potential for U.S. economic growth to slow.

Why it Matters

The midterms helped reduce some of those fears. Market analysts say a divided Congress, in which Democrats control the House of Representatives and Republicans control the Senate, is likely to slow U.S. policy-making--meaning a smaller chance of tax cuts or other measures that could drive up U.S. borrowing costs by stimulating more robust growth and quicker inflation.

"A split Congress is the best outcome for U.S. and global equity markets, " said Marko Kolanovic, a quantitative and derivatives analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., in a note to clients. Mr. Kolanovic and his colleagues also say the trade feud between the U.S. and China could de-escalate, though Congress has no direct role in President Trump's decision on that matter.

Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics Ltd., said Washington is now less likely to raise tariffs on Chinese goods as planned in January.

The trade spat has rippled through markets in Asia, helping send Chinese stocks into a bear market and helping push the yuan to a decade low against the dollar last month.

In turn, China has stepped in as the currency nears seven per dollar, a psychologically significant level that could exacerbate weakness. China's foreign-exchange reserves fell by $34 billion in October, data showed Wednesday, signaling central-bank intervention to bolster the yuan. That was the biggest drop in reserves since December 2016.

Market observers say the dollar will weaken if Congress becomes more gridlocked, which could bolster the yuan. Ms. Beamish at Pantheon said the yuan "could still see further relief this year."

Write to Ben Eisen at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2018 23:58 ET (04:58 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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