Asian Stocks Rise Before U.S. Vote as Polls Show Clinton Leadby
Shanghai Composite Index closes at highest since January
Indonesian, Philippine share gauges rise most in region
Asian stocks climbed for a second day as polls showed Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election before Americans head to the polls on Tuesday.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent to 137.92 as of 4:01 p.m. in Hong Kong, led by raw material and consumer discretionary stocks, following a 0.5 percent advance on Monday. The Shanghai Composite Index closed at a 10-month high as speculation that Clinton will win outweighed a larger-than-expected drop in Chinese exports. Indonesian and Philippine shares led regional gains amid earnings optimism and increases in metal prices.
The final Bloomberg Politics national poll before the election showed Democratic candidate Clinton ahead of Republican nominee Trump by 44 percent to 41 percent, prompting a relief rally across global equities markets on Monday. The poll was conducted before the Federal Bureau of Investigation reiterated its conclusion that Clinton’s handling of e-mails wasn’t a crime and that it wouldn’t recommend criminal charges against her.
“The market is adding risk assets again,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. “Clinton represents continuity, while Trump represents disruption. But as we’ve seen in the case of Brexit, anything could happen and so there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the elections until we see the actual results.”
The MSCI All Country World Index rose 1.6 percent on Monday and the S&P 500 Index jumped 2.2 percent. Speculation of a Clinton victory helped boost odds of a Federal Reserve interest-rate hike next month. Data compiled by Bloomberg based on fed funds futures trading show an 80 percent probability of higher borrowing costs by year end, up from 76 percent on Friday.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent to the highest closing level since Jan. 8, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.3 percent.
China’s exports fell 7.3 percent in October from a year earlier in dollar terms, data released Tuesday showed, more than the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey for a 6 percent drop. That was the seventh straight month of declines. A depreciation of about 4 percent in the yuan this year has cushioned the blow from tepid global demand, but failed to provide any sustained boost to shipments.
Five shares retreated for every four that advanced on Japan’s Topix index, which finished up 0.1 percent as the yen traded near a one-week low. SoftBank Group Corp. added 1.3 percent in Tokyo after the phone company reported better-than-projected second-quarter profit, with the wireless and internet businesses in Japan bringing in cash and unit Sprint Corp. showing signs of improvement.
The Jakarta Composite Index advanced 1.5 percent after a 6.4 percent surge in nickel futures on Monday. PT Vale Indonesia, a producer of the metal, jumped 5.6 percent. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index was also up 1.5 percent.
“Some investors are speculating higher earnings for companies that will benefit from the government’s focus on infrastructure projects as well as on strong consumer spending heading into the Christmas season,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Holdings Inc. in Manila.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.7 percent, Malaysia’s benchmark measure climbed 0.6 percent and Thailand’s SET Index rallied 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index increased 0.3 percent, as did Taiwan’s Taiex index and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1 percent.
MGM China Holdings Ltd. climbed 2.8 percent in Hong Kong after its parent reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. Santos Ltd. surged 6.3 percent in Sydney, pacing gains among energy producers, as Brent crude rose for a second day.