U.S. Futures, Asian Markets Up Ahead of Election

03/11/2020 US Election day is finally here, let’s hope it all runs as smooth as possible. U.S. futures and Asian stocks rose today ahead of the American presidential election, while currency traders braced for increased volatility. The JSE all share gained 1.81% and the top 40 1.94%, tracking major indices as global markets recover from a one-month low, Aspen rises 11.45% it’s biggest move in 20years as the company secures covid 19 vaccine manufacturing deal with J&J.

JSE Ltd, will approach regulators about listing instruments across a range of currencies including the US dollar as part of sweeping proposals aimed at positioning itself as the centre of capital-raising on the continent.

• Northam Platinum, that’s been buying back shares from its Black empowerment partner, said it’s in talks to bring the arrangement to an early conclusion.
• Moody’s Sees African States Increasingly Tapping Islamic Finance.
• AngloGold Cut to Underweight at Nedbank CIB; PT 480 rand.
• South Africa Begins Talks to Regulate Key Minibus Taxi Industry.
• Wiese on Jooste fine: ‘At last, something is beginning to happen’

European stocks closed higher on Monday as promising manufacturing data out of the euro zone and China boosted sentiment. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 1.6% provisionally. Oil and gas stocks jumped 3.6% to lead gains as all sectors — with the exception of travel and leisure — and major bourses entered positive territory. FTSE + 1.39%, CAC + 2.11%. DAX + 2.01%

Overnight Dow climbed 423 points, or 1.6%. The S&P 500 also registered a gain of 1.23%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, adding just 0.4% as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft all closed lower. Futures continue to rise this morning with the Dow 181 points, S&P + 14 points and the Nasdaq + 15 points. Stocks also got a boost after manufacturing activity in October jumped to its highest level in more than two years, pointing to a resilient economy in the face of the coronavirus. The ISM Manufacturing PMI rose to 59.3, a reading that indicates the percentage of companies reporting that activity expanded during the month.
A full day before Election Day, more than 94 million votes have already been cast in the U.S, already exceeding or nearing total levels in 2016, according to the U.S. Elections Project.

The moves in the Asia-Pacific markets came as the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced its cash rate target to 0.1%. All markets trade in the green with the Hang Seng leading the way up 2.10 %, ASX 200 + 1.93%, AUS Miners + 2.27%, Shanghai Comp + 1.05% and Japan closed for a holiday. Tencent – 0.17%.
Gold prices gained slightly this morning on uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election, while a spike in global coronavirus cases exacerbated fears about an economic recovery, further boosting the safe-haven metal’s appeal. Gold is trading at $ 1891, Silver jumped 1.1% to $23.88 an ounce, platinum gained 1.4% to $860.31, while palladium rose 0.1% to $2,214.80.
Oil prices are steady with Brent + 0.03% $ 38.98 and WTI + 0.30% $ 36.93.
These are some key events coming up:
• Earnings are due from companies including Nintendo Co., Macquarie Group Ltd., Toyota Motor Corp., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and AstraZeneca Plc.
• U.S. Presidential election today.
• EIA crude oil inventory report on Wednesday.
• Fed policy decision on Thursday.
• The U.S. labour market report is due Friday.