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Asian Shares Extend Gains As US Goes To Polls

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by November 8, 2016 General
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – Asian stocks inched higher on Tuesday, although underlying sentiment remained cautious ahead of the most divisive U.S. presidential elections in history. After long presidential race, the final results are expected by around 11PM ET.

China’s Shanghai Composite index gained 14.55 points or 0.46 percent to end at 3,147.89 as investors shrugged off weak trade data, which showed the country’s exports fell for a seventh consecutive month in October. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is rising 0.34 percent to 22,878.

Chinese exports fell an annual 7.3 percent year-over-year on dollar terms, exceeding economists’ expectations for a decrease of 6.0 percent. Imports dropped 1.4 percent in the month from a year ago, just above the 1.0 percent fall expected by economists.

Japanese shares ended a choppy session flat as investors moved to the sidelines before the U.S. presidential election. The Nikkei average swung between gains and losses before closing 5.83 points or 0.03 percent lower at 17,171.38. The broader Topix index closed up 0.05 percent at 1,363.49.

Automakers Honda, Mazda and Toyota gained about 1 percent each as the greenback held steady against the yen. Nikon rose 1.3 percent on a Nikkei report that it plans to eliminate about 1,000 jobs in Japan. Toyota Motor today lifted its profit forecast for the fiscal year despite reporting another sharp decline in second-quarter net profit.

Nissan Motor added 0.7 percent after maintaining its full-year sales guidance. Mobile carrier Softbank Corp advanced 1.2 percent despite announcing a $550 million write down in its Indian investment.

Australian shares extended gains for a second consecutive session despite mixed readings on business and consumer confidence. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 inched up 7 points or 0.13 percent to 5,257.80 while the broader All Ordinaries index closed 11.30 points or 0.21 percent higher at 5,342.20.

Miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group climbed 2-3 percent on the back of higher steel and iron ore futures in China. Energy major Santos jumped over 6 percent after U.S. crude oil futures climbed about 2 percent overnight.

News Corp advanced 1.3 percent after reporting fiscal first-quarter results in line with analyst estimates. Fairfax Media shares rose 1.2 percent while those of APN News & Media added 0.8 percent. Online property business REA Group rallied 5.4 percent after lifting its September quarter earnings.

Incitec Pivot lost 1 percent on reporting a 68 percent slump in full-year profit. Gold miners Newcrest, Northern Star and Regis Resources fell about 1 percent after gold futures suffered their largest single-day percentage loss in about five weeks on Monday. Commonwealth Bank of Australia shed 0.6 percent after reporting flat first-quarter unaudited cash earnings.

Seoul shares inched higher and the local currency extended gains as investors placed their bets on Democrat Hillary Clinton emerging victorious over Republican candidate Donald Trump. The Kospi average rose 0.29 percent to 2,003.38.

Shares of Samsung Electronics ended on a flat note after prosecutors reportedly entered its offices, seeking evidence whether the company illegally provided gifts to the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, the confidante of President Park Geun-hye at the center of an influence-peddling investigation.

New Zealand shares ended a tad higher on the eve of the U.S. presidential elections. The benchmark S&P/NZX50 index rose 22.09 points or 0.32 percent to 6,894.36. A2 Milk shares soared 4.6 percent after its first-quarter revenue met expectations.

NZME shares slumped more than 24 percent to 50 cents as New Zealand’s competition watchdog said a proposed merger of media companies Fairfax Media and NZME will substantially lessen competition and lead to reduced editorial quality.

Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite index is rallying 1.5 percent after a government report showed Indonesia’s GDP grew largely in line with expectations in the third quarter.

The Taiwan Weighted closed 0.3 percent higher. Taiwan’s consumer price inflation rose 1.7 percent year-over-year in October, faster than the 0.33 percent increase in September and also above the 0.45 percent climb expected by economists, official data showed.

Benchmark indexes in Malaysia and Singapore are up around half a percent while Indian shares are marginally lower.

Overnight, U.S. stocks posted their biggest gain in eight months amid bets that Clinton will take the presidency over Republican rival Donald Trump.

The Dow rallied 2.1 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 2.2 percent after nine straight sessions of declines, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 2.4 percent.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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