Global stocks steady as investors await US election results

BEIJING, China – Global stock markets were steady Tuesday, following strong Wall Street gains the day before, as investors focused on the final hours of a tight U.S. presidential race.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX was 0.1 per cent lower at 10,449 and France’s CAC-40 was down by the same rate at 4,458. London’s FTSE 100 was stable at 6,805. Wall Street looked set for a subdued opening, with futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 down 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.

PRESIDENTIAL JITTERS: Hillary Clinton appeared to gain an edge over rival Donald Trump but analysts said the race was too close to call and traders hedged their positions. Clinton’s position improved after the FBI announced its review of newly discovered Clinton emails found no evidence to warrant charges. Unease had ratcheted up in recent weeks over signs the race was tightening. Clinton is seen as more favourable to trade while Trump has unnerved markets by calling for controls on imports and immigration. That triggered the longest losing streak for the S&P 500 since 1980.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “Markets are moving toward pricing in a Clinton victory, but not fully, given the painful lesson from Brexit,” Mizuho Bank said in a report. “We expect market volatility to increase somewhat tomorrow as U.S. exit polls and elections results start streaming in.”

GLOBAL TRADE: China’s exports fell again in October in a fresh sign of weak global demand that is complicating Beijing’s efforts to shore up economic growth and reduce reliance on trade and investment. Exports contracted by 7.3 per cent from a year earlier while imports fell 1.4 per cent. Similarly downbeat figures emerged from Germany, where exports dropped 0.7 per cent in September over August, while imports fell 0.5 per cent in season- and calendar-adjusted terms.

ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5 per cent to 3,147.89 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.5 per cent to 22,909.47. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.3 per cent to 2,003.38, India’s Sensex rose 0.1 per cent to 27,500.95 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.1 per cent to 5,257.80. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was nearly unchanged at 17,171.38. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also rose.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 104.53 yen from Monday’s 104.39 yen. The euro gained to $1.1064 from $1.1042.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 18 cents to $44.71 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 82 cents on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 15 cents to $46.00 in London after adding 57 cents the previous session.