Asian Stocks Higher as U.S Election Results Unveiled

Asian markets were mostly up Wednesday amid expectations on the Fed’s upcoming plans to revitalize U.S. economy and news on U.S. midterm election results unfolded. Most markets were higher in the wake of a positive finish on Wall Streets and ahead of the Fed expected QE2 announcement.


Republicans gained control of the House in the elections. President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party gained control in the Senate.


Asian stocks and currencies have gained in the past few weeks in spite of increased recent volatility.


Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 2 percent to 24,132.38. In Hong Kong market, banks were among the top gainers. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. advanced up 3.6%; Agricultural Bank of China Ltd jumped 2.4%.


Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 4,722.8. Indexes in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines were also higher.


Indexes in Taiwan and Indonesia were down. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.1 percent to 3,041.14. The Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.


Oil prices rose above $ 84 a barrel and the dollar strengthened against the yen.


Crude-oil futures hit a six-month high in Asia after a report showed a sharp fall in U.S. oil stockpiles.


Stock market futures in the U.S almost kept unchanged. The market index lost less than 0.1 percent, at 1,192.20.


Traders refocused on Fed’s announcement of its plan to stimulate the economy through another round of quantitative easing. Fed began hinting in late August. Broad stock market indexes have risen 12 percent.


Washington-based World Bank raised China’s growth outlook from 9.5 percent to 10 percent. Beijing can do more to reconfigure its economy to promote domestic consumption and trim reliance on trade.


In the third quarter, economy expanded 9.6 percent, 0.7% smaller than that in the second quarter. The outlook reflects China’s economic rebound from the global crisis thanks to a flood of stimulus spending and bank lending.