Asian stocks strug­gle on US elec­tion con­cerns

The Myanmar Times - - International | Business -

ASIAN traders moved cau­tiously yes­ter­day as news that the FBI would fur­ther probe Hillary Clin­ton’s emails fu­elled fresh un­cer­tainty about the out­come of the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion just eight days be­fore the vote.

Traders glob­ally had broadly ex­pected Demo­cratic can­di­date and Wall Street favourite Clin­ton to sweep to vic­tory, with her ri­val Don­ald Trump con­sid­ered a loose can­non.

But FBI chief James Comey’s an­nounce­ment that the bureau was again look­ing at her use of a pri­vate email server while sec­re­tary of state sent shud­ders through trad­ing floors, with US stocks tum­bling and the dol­lar tak­ing a hit.

The sell-off fil­tered through to Asia, where deal­ers are also ner­vously await­ing a se­ries of key events this week, in­clud­ing cen­tral bank pol­icy meet­ings in Ja­pan and the US and the re­lease of US jobs fig­ures.

Trad­ing con­di­tions will be “slip­pery and shifty”, said Stephen Innes, se­nior trader at forex firm OANDA.

“The cal­en­dar is full of high-risk events mak­ing for a treach­er­ous path to nav­i­gate in the lead-up to the mon­u­men­tal Novem­ber 8 US elec­tion,” he said in a note.

Tokyo’s Nikkei ended 0.1 per­cent lower, Hong Kong shed 0.1pc and Shang­hai also closed 0.1pc off, while Seoul slipped 0.6pc and Taipei was 0.2pc off.

The de­vel­op­ment also caused the dol­lar to wob­ble, fall­ing to 104.73 yen in New York on Oc­to­ber 28 from 105.30 yen ear­lier in the day in Asia. Yes­ter­day it strug­gled to bounce back, sit­ting at 104.90 yen, while it also edged up against the pound and the euro.

It held most gains against the Mex­i­can peso on wor­ries about a pos­si­ble win by Mr Trump, who has promised to tear up a trade deal be­tween the two coun­tries.

“Un­til the elec­tion, the gen­eral theme will be un­cer­tainty, which will have im­pli­ca­tions not just on the stock mar­ket, but on the dol­lar and Trea­suries,” Chad Mor­gan­lan­der, a money man­ager said.

Oil prices also fell – drag­ging en­ergy firms lower – fol­low­ing OPEC’s fail­ure last week to ham­mer out de­tails of an agree­ment to cut out­put and ease a sup­ply glut. –

Photo: AFP

Pedes­tri­ans walk past an elec­tronic quo­ta­tion board flash­ing the Nikkei key in­dex of the Tokyo Stock Ex­change in front of a se­cu­ri­ties com­pany in Tokyo.

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