BY Richard Summerfield
The political outsider, Republican Donald Trump, has claimed a historic and stunning victory in the US presidential election, bringing an end to eight years of Democratic rule. The result initially plunged the global markets into chaos and stunned Wall Street.
As Mr Trump’s supporters celebrated his victory, along with Republican successes in both the Senate and House of Representatives, the dollar and US stocks endured a mixed day, falling sharply before recovering somewhat throughout Wednesday’s trading.
European shares initially followed suit. Though many news agencies predicted losses of around 4 percent, the FTSE 100 fell around 1.4 percent initially before recovering throughout Wednesday. In the first hours of trading on Thursday morning, the FTSE continued its gains, climbing a further 1.06 percent, nearing the 7000 mark.
The Mexican peso, however, dropped 13 percent against the dollar at one point, marking the currencies biggest daily move in nearly 20 years. The peso did rebound 4 percent on Wednesday, though it was still down 8.5 percent.
Asian shares rallied in trading on Thursday with the Nikkei climbing 7 percent at one point, following of 5 percent drop in the previous day’s trading. Gains were also seen elsewhere as Australian stocks soared 3.3 percent in the largest daily gain since late 2011 . Shanghai rose 1.3 percent.
Wall Street, which had lent its considerable support to Ms Clinton during the bruising and historic election campaign, was initially left reeling by the result as investors fled some of their riskier assets. Yet US stocks actually closed up on Wednesday, with investors jumping headlong into sectors which could benefit from Mr Trump's election. Oil & gas producers, energy companies and construction firm sand pipeline operators were all seen as attractive investment destinations, given Mr Trump’s preference for oil & gas investment. The fact that the GOP has indicated that it would invest at least $500m in infrastructure development over the next five years can be seen as one of the driving forces behind these gains.
Mr Trump’s views on the Dodd-Frank reform act, implemented in the wake of the financial crisis, as well as other notable Democrat legislation including the Affordable Care Act, have also affected stocks; healthcare companies fell as the markets anticipated the end of Obamacare.
Oil markets, which have steadied in recent months following two years of uncertainty, fell temporarily below $45 a barrel on Wednesday morning, as the wider global commodities market reacted to the election result with some concern. The global benchmark, Brent Crude, fell to its lowest point since August, down 2.3 percent to $44.98. However, oil prices rebounded on Thursday; at the time of writing, Brent Crude futures were up 1.14 percent, or 53 cents, at $46.89 per barrel. Though the outlook for the commodities market still appears contentious, there is hope that a recovery in the oil & gas sector in 2017 may be relatively rapid.