Global equities surge as FBI clears Clinton
Global equities rebounded sharply yesterday, the eve of the US presidential election, after the FBI handed market favorite Hillary Clinton a major boost by ruling out criminal charges.
Asian and European equities surged higher as traders breathed a sigh of relief as FBI chief James Comey said Democratic nominee Clinton would not face charges over her use of a private email server, dealing a blow to her Republican rival Donald Trump.
In European deals, Frankfurt stocks won 1.5 percent, London added 1.3 percent and Paris jumped 1.7 percent in value. The Mexican peso-which has taken on an inverse relationship with Trump’s presidential prospects-staged a stunning rally against the dollar to recoup all its losses from last week.
The currency is considered a reflection of Trump’s chances because of his anti-Mexican rhetoric-including his pledge to remove undocumented migrants, build a border wall and tear up a trade deal. “European equity markets are... boosted by the news that the FBI has not changed its conclusion on the Hillary Clinton email investigation after announcing a little over a week ago that it had been reopened,” said Oanda analyst Craig Erlam. “The timing of FBI director James Comey’s disclosure has once again dealt a serious blow to Donald Trump’s chances of securing the White House, something the markets have responded very positively to.”
Markets were plunged into turmoil on October 28 when Comey revealed that messages linked to Clinton were being investigated, sending Trump surging in opinion polls just days before the November 8 vote.
However, Comey on Sunday announced he would not change his July recommendation that Clinton not be prosecuted for allegedly putting US secrets at risk. Investors became more willing Monday to hold assets that are deemed to carry a higher risk-like equities. “The dark clouds seem to be dissipating on news that FBI sent a letter to Congress citing that Hillary Clinton had not committed a crime with her private server,” said London Capital Group analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.
“The FBI news triggered a risk rally across the global financial markets.” Former secretary of state Clinton is considered by many investors to be a safer bet than Trump, who is seen as a loose cannon with policies many fear could wreck the world’s top economy.
“The US election is all that matters,” Ozkardeskaya added. “The outcome of the US presidential election is important for the global markets, as the new US president will set the tone for the world’s most powerful economy’s external politics and trade relations for the next four years.
“In this context, the Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s victory could be expected to hit the business sentiment across the global markets, hence is defined as a major, world-wide risk from a market perspective heading into Tuesday’s election.”
Asia stocks rebound
Asian equities staged a rebound and the Mexican peso rallied yesterday as traders breathed a sigh of relief after the FBI chief said market favorite Hillary Clinton would not face charges over her use of a private email server.
Tokyo’s Nikkei ended 1.6 percent higher while Hong Kong was up 0.5 percent in the afternoon, with banking giant HSBC more than two percent higher after it reported a forecast-beating rise in pre-tax profit. Shanghai closed up 0.3 percent, Sydney added 1.4 percent and Seoul gained 0.8 percent, while Wellington soared 2.4 percent and Singapore put on 0.5 percent.
Shares in Hong Kong developers were battered yesterday after the city’s leaders raised stamp duty to try to cool runaway home prices.
The government slapped a 15 percent tax on all residential purchases, almost double the previous 8.5 percent, except for first-time buyers who are permanent residents.
Home prices remain out of reach for most of the city’s seven million residents, despite a series of measures by the government. “Property risks have been increasing with the rapid surge of prices and transactions,” Financial Secretary John Tsang said Friday when announcing the move.
“We have to prevent the risk of a property bubble from worsening, which in turn can threaten our economy and even the stability of the financial system.” Analysts said the move would hurt the city’s property firms. “The action is likely to have an immediate impact on the market, with turnovers and property prices obviously pressured in a short period,” said Willy Liu at Ricacorp Properties. “Small and mediumsized properties will be among the first to bear the brunt.”