Stocks retain momentum from Wednesday rally

Stocks retain momentum from Wednesday rally

Stocks retain momentum from Wednesday rally Pan Pylas

The rebound in share prices around the world following the election of Donald Trump as the next US president continued Thursday, with Asia partaking in the gains and the dollar rising further.

The market mood has turned around dramatically since the immediate aftermath of Trump's victory, which prompted widespread selling Wednesday in Asia. On Thursday, Asian shares posted hefty gains as they responded to the optimism recorded in Europe and the US the day before. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was the standout performer, rocketing 6.7% to close at 17,344.42 after sliding more than 5% the day before.

As well as taking comfort from Trump's comments that he will look to unify a deeply divided nation, investors are focusing on his promises to boost US economic growth through infrastructure spending and by cutting red tape, rather than uncertainties such as what he might do with trade agreements.

Before Trump's victory speech, investors had been worried because his campaign promises carried few policy details, making him an unknown quantity compared with his rival, Hillary Clinton, who was seen as a safe choice.

“Investors are keen to focus on the positive aspects of a Trump Presidency rather than some of the more worrying pledges made during the campaign,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.5% at 10,697, the CAC-40 in France rose 0.6% to 4,572 and Britain's FTSE 100 was 0.1% lower at 6,904. Russia was one of the biggest gainers in Europe amid optimism there that Trump's election will improve relations. The Micex index in Moscow was up 2.3%.

Wall Street was poised for further solid gains at the open, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.4%.

The upcoming Trump presidency, which will commence on Jan. 20, will likely remain a key driver in markets for the rest of the year. The president-elect will meet President Barack Obama later Thursday at the White House to work on transition arrangements.

“With Trump now set to move into the White House the possibility of a political mishap causing markets to tumble just ratcheted up several notches,” said David Cheetham, market analyst at XTB.

One country that's keenly aware of potential problems ahead is Mexico. Trump has repeatedly said he wants a wall built to keep illegal Mexican immigrants out of the United States and has threatened to tear up a North American trade agreement.

On Thursday, the Mexican peso recouped some losses after plunging against the dollar Wednesday. The dollar weakened 0.3% to 19.79 Mexican pesos, which was still near its lowest level in decades.

The dollar has been fairly solid since Trump's victory. The euro was down 0.3% at US$1.0895, while the dollar rose 1.1% to 106.84 yen.

In other Asian trading, South Korea's Kospi advanced 2.3% to 2,002.60 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.9% to 22,839.11. The Shanghai Composite index in mainland China rose 1.4% to 3,171.28 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 surged 3.3% to 5,328.80.

In oil markets, US crude futures fell 35 cents to US$44.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 28 cents to US$46.07 a barrel in London.

The Associated Press