SINGAPORE/NEW YORK- Bonds nursed losses and Asian stock markets rose on Thursday in anticipation of a big borrowing and big spending Democrat administration driving growth, following runoff elections that gave the party control of both houses of US Congress.
US Treasuries suffered their steepest selloff in months and the S&P 500 index made a record high after Democrat victories in two Georgia races handed them narrow control of the Senate and the power to pass their agenda.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan . rose 0.5 percent to just shy of a record high, led by jumps of more than 1.5 percent in South Korea’s chipmaker-heavy Kospi and Australia’s miner-and-bank heavy ASX 200.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 2 percent to its highest since 1990. S&P 500 futures rose 0.6 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.9 percent as markets seemed to shake off a late New York session fade when chaotic protests in Washington unnerved traders.
“It’s basically a re-flation trade,” said Mathan Somasundaram, head of Sydney-based research firm Deep Data Analytics, who added that the Democrat sweep was unexpected by most investors and “changes a lot.”
“Even though its a razor-thin margin, it gives Democrats a two-year window (to pursue their agenda),” he said. “Anything that benefits from rising prices is going to do well…when you look at the policy settings they are trying to get through, it’s about printing (money for) Main Street and not Wall Street.”
Georgia voters elected the first Black senator in the state’s history, Raphael Warnock, and the Senate’s youngest member, Jon Ossoff.
Together with Vice-President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaker vote, the wins allow the Democrats to control the chamber.
The subsequent bond selloff pushed the yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasuries over 1 percent for the first time since March. It steadied at 1.0422 percent on Wednesday.