‘Biden Bounce’ sees Japan shares hit 29-year high

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Shares in Japan hit a near 30-year high on Monday, the first day of trading following news that Joe Biden had won the US presidential election.

Japan’s main share index – the Nikkei 225 – rose 2.5% in Asian trading to hit a level not seen since 1991.

Stock markets across Asia also saw healthy gains with a positive sentiment in Australia, China and Hong Kong.

Japan’s rise came despite Japan Airlines’ share price falling 15% after announcing plans to raise new capital.

Investors in the region had been nervous following the uncertainty of a US election deadlock, as voting took longer due to postal votes.

There are now hopes that the new administration will expand fiscal stimulus in the US and widen measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

There was also optimism among Chinese investors, who saw a Biden win as positive for trade and technology policy.

“The political uncertainty has largely gone as the election is over,” said Larry Hu, Head of China Economics at Macquarie bank.

In China, the main shares benchmark – the Shanghai Composite – rose almost 2% on Monday.

“The market is taking the Biden win as a positive, as he is not very likely to fight a new trade war with China. The chance for a new tech war is also drifting lower,” added Mr Hu.

Relations between Donald Trump and China escalated during his four-year tenure, sparking a tariff war in 2018 that imposed taxes on imported goods from both countries.

“We think the Chinese authorities might be betting on a less confrontational but more predictable Biden administration that they can work with,” added Bruce Pang, an economist at Hong-Kong based China Renaissance.

Fresh start

The biggest gainer in Asia was the Nikkei 225 which rose 2.5% hitting a high not seen since late 1991.

Japan’s stock market gains were also partly attributed to its car-making sector with recent strong earnings from brands including Toyota.

“The Nikkei 225 is breaking out and is a poster child of strength and momentum,” added Chris Weston, head of research at brokers Pepperstone.

However, it was a different story at Japan Airlines, which fell the most ever after saying it will raise as much as 168bn yen (£1.2bn) by selling new shares to support its finances during the coronavirus crisis.

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