HONG KONG: Asian equities soared Thursday, joining a goldrush across world markets as the initial shock of Donald Trump’s election win was replaced by hopes his plan to kickstart the US economy will succeed.
Trading floors were awash in red Wednesday as the region’s investors were the first to react to news that the firebrand tycoon had defeated market-favourite Hillary Clinton, upending expectations.
However, a reassuring victory speech — followed by calls by Clinton and President Obama to get behind Trump — provided some encouragement to traders, sending risk assets rallying.
In early trade most markets in Asia had either wiped out or clawed back most of the previous day’s losses, while the dollar pushed higher.
The greenback had come under pressure on worries that uncertainty over Trump’s policies would cause the Federal Reserve to hold off an interest rate rise, but analysts said those worries had abated for now.
Tokyo was up more than six percent, with a plunging yen also providing support. The dollar dallied with 106 yen before easing slightly, well up from Wednesday’s low of 101.20 yen.
Hong Kong gained 2.1 percent and Shanghai was 1.2 percent up, while Sydney added 2.8 percent, Seoul jumped 1.9 percent and Taipei put on 2.4 percent. There were also gains of more than one percent in Wellington, Singapore and Manila.
“He’ll certainly be friendly to American business and that could very well stimulate their economy,” Grant Williamson, an investment adviser at brokerage Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“Investors are now thinking that things aren’t going to be as bad as what they had thought. It was a bit of a shock to most investors initially and now people are getting used to the idea,” he told Bloomberg News.
The push back into higher-yielding, or riskier, investments also saw safe-haven gold tumble 1.4 percent, buying $1,286.70 — having spiked Wednesday at almost $1,340.
The Mexican peso, which hit a record low on Trump’s win, also strengthened against the dollar Thursday but it remains under pressure owing to fears about Trump’s policy plans.
While on the campaign trail the president-elect often made anti-Mexican promises including a pledge to remove undocumented immigrants, build a border wall and tear up a long-standing trade deal.
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 6.0 percent at 17,230.30
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 2.1 percent at 22,878.12
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 3,164.83
Dollar/Mexican peso: UP at 19.84 pesos from 19.82 pesos
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2400 from $1.2424 Tuesday
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0935 from $1.0914
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.31 yen from 105.72 yen
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 26 cents at $45.01 per barrel
Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 13 cents at $46.23
New York – Dow: UP 1.4 percent at 18,589.84 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 1.0 percent at 6,911.84 (close)