Asian markets rise on French election results

Pedestrians walking in front of a display flashing numbers of the Nikkei key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo.
Pedestrians walking in front of a display flashing numbers of the Nikkei key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo.PHOTO: AFP

Markets across Asia, except for China, rose on relief over the widely expected victory of pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential elections.

Another key factor was strong job data in the United States out last Friday which signalled that the labour market in the world's No. 1 economy remains healthy.

But the reaction in Singapore was mostly lukewarm, as investors focused on first-quarter earnings of key blue chips, including OCBC, which will release its results before the market opens today.

The Straits Times Index edged up 0.22 per cent yesterday.

"OCBC has had a good run ahead of its results. If its first-quarter earnings are above expectations, then the stock could go higher. But if its earnings just meet or are below forecasts, investors could sell on the news," remisier Desmond Leong said.

Rallies in Japan and South Korea powered ahead by comparison, overshadowing a sell-off in Chinese stocks to their lowest level since October as regulators tightened the reins on mainland banks, brokerages and insurers.

Japan, which resumed trading yesterday following the Golden Week holiday last week, jumped 2.3 per cent. South Korea also rose 2.3 per cent, a fresh record ahead of its own presidential vote today.

SEE BUSINESS: Asia mostly up after French election

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2017, with the headline 'Asian markets rise on French election results'. Print Edition | Subscribe