Stocks rise ahead of US election results

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    Share prices ended up Wednesday as investors bet on a speedy conclusion of the US election.

    The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) was up 128.49 points to 6,464.05, a 2.03 percent hike.

    The broader all shares index was up 59.14 points to 3,848.61, a 1.56 percent hike.
    Gainers edged losers 135 to 73 with 46 stocks unchanged. Trading turnover reached P7.24 billion.

    The peso closed at 48.40 to the dollar, up from 48.41 on Tuesday.

    The currency opened at 48.40 and hit a high of 48.35 and a low of 48.46. Trading turnover reached $730.86 million.

    Luis Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital and Development Corp., attributed the market’s uptick to investors hoping “a clear winner would emerge from the US presidential election and a delayed, or contested, result would be avoided.”

    Most actively traded Dito CME Holdings Corp. was down P0.31 to P6.31. BDO Unibank Inc. was up P0.50 to P90.50. SM Investments Corp. was up P21.50 to P996. Jollibee Foods Corp. was up P10.50 to P185. Ayala Land Inc. was up P0.55 to P33.25. Security Bank Corp. was up P1.25 to P99.75. Globe Telecom Inc. was down P18 to P2,002. GT Capital Holdings Corp. was up P16 to P450. Ayala Corp. was up P15 to P765. International Container Terminal Services Inc. was up P0.50 to P115.50.

    Meanwhile, emerging Asian stocks scored small gains and currencies were broadly weaker as early projections of the US presidential election hinted at a tighter race, sparking a bout of volatility across financial markets.

    US President Donald Trump was narrowly leading Democratic rival Joe Biden in the vital battleground state of Florida, Edison Research said on Tuesday, while other competitive swing states that will help decide the election outcome, such as Georgia and North Carolina, remained up in the air.

    Share markets in the region closely tracked US stock futures, which swung wildly as early election results from different states began to trickle in, but the final outcome may not be known for days.

    South Korea’s KOSPI was up half a percent, after largely swinging between positive and negative territory, while Singapore shares were marginally higher.

    An unclear result, one with no immediate outcome or one showing split party control, would throw more doubt on the prospects for a coronavirus relief package that could help revive an economy decimated by the pandemic.

    Analysts have said a Biden victory could weaken the dollar and lift trade-exposed currencies, as it is expected to adopt a less combative stance on the region’s economic engine, China, and a steadier foreign and trade policy overall.

    Biden, who has held a consistent lead in national opinion polls, still has multiple paths to the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win without Florida, and took the lead in other battleground states.

    Most Asian currencies traded lower after the US dollar pared earlier losses, with the Singapore dollar, South Korean won and Chinese yuan down the most.

    The Mexican peso, highly sensitive to both political and economic developments of the United States, its closest trading partner, also swung wildly in volatile trade. It was last down 1.8 percent.

    Taiwan’s dollar stood out once again with a more than 1 percent rise, and the Indonesian rupiah at a near three-month high against the US dollar.