Asian markets cautious as US vote results come in

Asian markets were mostly lower on Wednesday as traders awaited the outcome of a knife-edge US presidential election, with votes being counted but the result too close to call.

The region was given a positive lead from Wall Street, which finished well in the green on hopes that, whoever comes out on top, a certain amount of uncertainty will have been removed.

Tokyo was 0.11 percent down by the break, Hong Kong edged down 0.55 percent, Sydney climbed 0.35 percent, Shanghai fell 0.20 percent and Seoul eased 0.10 percent.

As polling stations in the eastern United States began closing there were no immediate surprises, with President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney taking the states they had been expecting.

However, the overriding hope is for a clear victory for either side, which will allow the government to move on fixing the austere "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts that sits on the horizon and could hammer the economy.

A worst-case scenario would be a rerun of 2000, when a dead-heat left the country waiting for an outcome for several weeks.

"Regardless of who wins, some uncertainty will likely be removed," Kenichi Hirano, market analyst at Tachibana Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Investors can finally factor in specific policy implications," he said.

Wall Street ended with impressive gains. The Dow rose 1.02 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 0.79 percent and the Nasdaq added 0.41 percent.

Eurozone concerns continued to drag on sentiment, with data showing a bigger-than-expected slump in factory orders in Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy.

Berlin said industrial orders declined 3.3 percent in September from August after already falling 0.8 percent the previous month.

That is much steeper than expected. Analysts polled by Dow Jones had been pencilling in a fall of 0.5 percent.

The decline was largely due to a decline in export orders, particularly from the eurozone, where they plummeted 9.6 percent.

Eyes are also on the upcoming 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party that begins on Thursday and which will see the country's leaders for the next 10 years anointed.

On currency markets, the euro dipped to $1.2790 and 102.60 yen, compared with $1.2814 and 102.96 yen in New York.

The dollar was at 80.21 yen, little changed from 80.34 yen in New York.

Oil prices fell, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, falling 65 cents to $88.06 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for December delivery shedding 43 cents to $110.64.

Gold was at $1,691.55 at 1025 GMT compared with $1,679.75 late Monday.

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Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.25810.000.00%
    USDSGD=X
    1.7402+0.0054+0.31%
    EURSGD=X
    2.1138+0.0072+0.34%
    GBPSGD=X
    81.2921-0.3818-0.47%
    SGDJPY=X
    6.1625-0.00020.00%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.5984-0.0028-0.11%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,256.0264-43.6582-0.47%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9669-0.0018-0.04%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.1653-0.0006-0.05%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,293.70+3.10+0.24%
    GCM14.CMX
    19.64-0.05-0.24%
    SIK14.CMX
    91.62-1.25-1.35%
    ^XAU
    3.120.00-0.05%
    HGK14.CMX
    101.91+0.47+0.46%
    CLM14.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.74+0.03
    ^FVX
    2.690.00
    ^TNX
    3.460.00
    ^TYX

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.123+0.001+0.82%
    B22.SI
    0.15+0.008+5.63%
    545.SI
    0.635+0.040+6.72%
    5WH.SI
    0.615+0.005+0.82%
    E5H.SI
    1.355+0.005+0.37%
    G13.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    20.00+4.200+26.58%
    K6S.SI
    1.215+0.190+18.54%
    S53.SI
    0.415+0.045+12.16%
    570.SI
    1.345+0.130+10.70%
    5DA.SI
    0.154+0.014+10.00%
    5GD.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.053-0.059-52.68%
    5TF.SI
    1.62-0.520-24.30%
    N02.SI
    0.20-0.020-9.09%
    E94.SI
    0.179-0.013-6.77%
    567.SI
    0.30-0.020-6.25%
    508.SI