SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Hopes of a decisive outcome to the US elections melted away during the Asian trading session, raising concerns that a much-needed stimulus programme will not be quickly passed on Capitol Hill.
Mr Stéphane Monier, chief investment officer at Swiss private bank Lombard Odier, said just before the end of trading in Singapore: "It's far too close to call, but right now, it is clear that the Democrat landslide suggested by polling is just not materialising.
"For now, it very much looks that whoever wins the White House, we face a divided Congress. This has far-reaching implications for markets, mostly because it means that any kind of pandemic recovery package is still tough to approve."
Investors in Singapore were hardly in full retreat though.
The benchmark Straits Times Index ended Wednesday (Nov 4) 18.76 points or 0.75 per cent higher.
Leading the index with gains of more than 2 per cent each were Mapletree Industrial Trust, Singtel and Mapletree Logistics Trust.
On the other end of the spectrum, the biggest index laggards on Wednesday were Sembcorp Industries and Capital Integrated Commercial Trust, which declined by more than 1 per cent each.
Also among the index losers were heavyweight property developers City Developments and CapitaLand, which declined 0.93 per cent and 0.39 per cent respectively.
Across the broader market, advancers and decliners were almost evenly matched at 208 to 205. The most actively traded counter was Jiutian Chemical, which had nearly 406.7 million shares changing hands. The stock rose 5.16 per cent, and closed at S$0.102.
Regionally, Hong Kong fell 0.2 per cent, as Alibaba tumbled after China suspended the planned listing of its financial unit Ant Group.
But South Korea rose 0.6 per cent, as well as Japan which finished 1.72 per cent up.