Asia-Pacific shares mixed ahead of U.S. election results

by Jonathan Adams
U.S. election

The Shanghai composite shed 0.71%, the Shenzhen component fell 1.224%, Hang Seng index dropped 0.18%, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.88%, the Topix index gained 0.51%, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6%

Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Friday as investors continue to wait for a result from the U.S. election.

Mainland Chinese stocks were lower by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite down 0.71% while the Shenzhen component shed 1.224%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.18%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was 0.88% higher while the Topix index was up 0.51%. South Korea’s Kospi was fractionally higher.

Stocks in Australia advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6%.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released its monetary policy statement for November.

The central bank said the coronavirus pandemic will have “long-lasting effects” on the Australian economy, and GDP will “unlikely” return to its pre-pandemic level till the end of 2021.

Overall, the economy is expected to be noticeably smaller at the end of the forecast period than anticipated prior to the pandemic, partially because of a sharp slowing in population growth, said the RBA.

Following that release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7248, after seeing an earlier high of $0.7284.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.07% lower.

Oil prices fell in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 2.15% to $40.05 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 2.4% to $37.86 per barrel.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 542.52 points higher at 28,390.18. The S&P 500 rose 1.95% to end its trading day at 3,150.45 while the Nasdaq Composite surged 2.6% to close at 11,890.93. Thursday also marked the first time since 1982 that the Dow and S&P 500 rose at least 1% in four straight sessions.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday stateside that it kept interest rates unchanged near zero, noting in its post-meeting statement that economic activity remains “well below” levels prior to the coronavirus pandemic.



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