Securing victory in important swing states as Ohio, New Hampshire and Florida, President Obama seems to have won a clear majority and reelection in the US Presidential elections. As the results started to come in during the night, stock futures and the dollar fell against a basket of major currencies. Euro/USD which slipped to 1.2760 on Monday is up to 1.2860 in morning trade in Asia. Gold jumped 40 dollar to 1725 and benchmark treasuries rose. Also oil prices are up. NYMEX at 888 and Brent crude trading at 110,80. Asian shares rose on Obama’s reelection. The result means an end to the uncertainty which have ridden the markets for last weeks, and signals no dramatic shift in US economic policy.
Obama’s victory is in line with market’s expectations. A close race was, however, expected. The general view is that a second Democratic term under Obama would favor bonds. It is perceived that Obama favors bonds and low interest rates. The Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, is generally seen as more business friendly. As a former business executive he is seen as more supportive for equities. As results came in, US futures fell while Asian shares rose amid relief that there was a clear-cut result. The South East Asian Pacific Index, MSCI, was up 0,4 %.
The general signal coming from world markets is that the election outcome is in line with expectations. The temporary fall in the USD suggests that any precautionary positioning in USD has been premature. The Australian AXJO index rose 0,5 percent supported by overnight rise in commodities that boosted mining stocks. The Australian dollar hit a five-week high at 1.0461. Euro/USD touched a session high on 1.2876 being safely backed in the corridor between 1.28 and 1.30 which we have seen over the last five – six weeks. Analysts see Obama’s victory as a continuation of monetary quantitative easing. Active use of the printing press would put pressure on the dollar and boost bonds.
The big domestic challenge for Obama is seen to be cooperation with a Republican dominated Congress in how avert the looming “fiscal cliff” where USD 600 billion worth of spending cuts and tax increases risk pushing the economy into deep recession. Any sharp downturn in the world’s largest economy would raise concerns about demand for industrial metals. The markets first reaction has been to send commodities, oil and precious metals higher.
In Greece parliament later today is going to vote on a package of 13,5 billion Euro of spending cuts and tax hikes. These austerity measures are crucial to unlocking 31,5 billion euro in aid from global lenders to keep the debt-ridden country afloat. A negative vote is going to put the Euro under new pressure.
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