Asian Stocks Rise as Clinton, Trump Argue Economic Policy

Manila Bulletin, October 20, 2016 | Go to article overview

Asian Stocks Rise as Clinton, Trump Argue Economic Policy


BEIJING -- Asian stocks rose Thursday as traders watched U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump argued over economic policy and looked ahead to a meeting of euro zone central bankers.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 1.2 percent to 17,201.52 points and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 23,472.78. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.1 percent to 3,082.03. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.2 percent to 5,445.50 and Seoul's Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 2,042.14. Benchmarks in Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta also advanced, while Manila and New Zealand declined.

CLINTON VS TRUMP: Investors watched the candidates spar at their third debate over who had a better plan to spur U.S. economic growth. Trump, who has rattled markets by calling for curbs on trade and immigration, said he would hire experts, and not "political hacks," to negotiate more favorable trade deals. Clinton, seen as more favorable to trade, said she was focused on helping the middle class, while Trump's plans are geared toward the rich.

ANALYSTS' TAKE: "The presidential debate is a must watch for investors in the Asia Pacific region," said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets in a report. "There are at least two points of acute market interest. One of the six topics is the U.S. economy, and any clarification of policy in this area could influence trading today. Secondly, a clear win for either candidate is important. Markets are likely to buy Clinton and sell Trump."

EURO ZONE WATCH: Markets looked ahead to a meeting of the euro zone central bank for insight into its intentions for its 1.7 trillion euro ($1.9 trillion) bond-buying stimulus program. Most analysts think that while the European Central Bank will keep its policies on hold at its meeting, governor Mario Draghi will leave open the possibility of an extension to the bank's bond-buying program, which is meant to increase lending, growth and inflation. …

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