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|07 November, 2018

Wednesday outlook: Asian shares track Wall Street higher, U.S. midterm elections in focus

Asian shares followed Wall Street higher, hours before U.S. election results came out. Most stock markets in the Middle East added gains on Tuesday. More commentary on oil prices, currencies and precious metals.

A man walks past a panel displaying the Hang Seng Index during morning trading in Hong Kong, China October 11, 2018.

A man walks past a panel displaying the Hang Seng Index during morning trading in Hong Kong, China October 11, 2018.

Reuters/Bobby Yip
  • Asian shares track Wall Street higher
  • Most stock markets in the Middle East added gains on Tuesday
  • Oil prices drop on rising supply
  • Dollar drops, gold rises

Reuters has reported that the Democrats have won control of the United States’ House of Representatives, citing Fox News and NBC News projections, which gives the party the power to investigate U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns and possible conflict of interest.

Trump and the Republicans are set to maintain a majority in the U.S. Senate, CNN, NBC and ABC News said, the report added.

At last count, Democrats had gained a net 14 of the 23 Republican-held seats needed to capture a majority, according to the report.

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Global markets

Asian shares added gains in early trading on Wednesday,

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.6 percent.

On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.68 percent to end at 25,635.01 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.63 percent to 2,755.45.

Markets were trading before the final results of the U.S. midterm elections came out.

“It seems like the Republicans have the real chance of taking not only the Senate but also the House. That appears to be boosting stocks,” Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

Dubai’s index rose 0.7 percent on Tuesday, with Emirates NBD rising 2.1 percent and Emaar Malls increasing 4.4 percent.

Contractor Arabtec jumped 8.1 percent after announcing that it appointed U.S.-based Moelis & Co to advise and assist Arabtec with debt financial modelling, structuring options.

DXB Entertainments’ (DXBE) stock price dropped 1.94 percent, as it reported a third quarter 2018 loss of 271.4 million UAE dirhams ($73.90 million) compared to a loss of 284.1 million UAE dirhams for the same period last year, marginally missing SICO bank’s forecast of a 263 million UAE dirhams loss.

Abu Dhabi's index ended the day 0.6 percent higher, with First Abu Dhabi Bank rising 1.4 percent.

Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.1 percent, with Riyad Bank rising 1.1 percent and Arabian Cement increasing 6.5 percent despite posting a drop in its third-quarter profit.

Qatar’s index fell 0.8 percent, dragged lower by banking shares. Qatar National Bank dropped 3.7 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank dropped 1.8 percent.

Egypt’s index rose 1.5 percent, Oman’s index edged up 0.1 percent and Bahrain’s index edged 0.1 percent lower.

Oil prices

Oil prices edged lower on rising output and as the U.S. had announced late last week that top importers will be temporarily allowed to keep buying Iranian oil.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $72.04 per barrel at 0337 GMT, down 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $61.92, down 29 cents, or 0.5 percent, from its last settlement.

U.S. bank J.P. Morgan said the “sell-off in oil was due to excessive crude” from rising production “whilst Iranian supply was still in the market,” according to a Reuters report.

Currencies

The dollar lost 0.07 percent against the yen early on Wednesday, to trade at 113.33. Earlier in the session, the yen had strengthened to 112.95.

Investors were awaiting the results of the U.S. midterm election for more clues on economic policies.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down about 0.3 percent

Precious metals

Gold prices rose amid a softening dollar on Wednesday.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,228.40 per ounce at 0118 GMT.

U.S. gold futures climbed 0.3 percent to $1,229.7 per ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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