The unpredictable outcome of the US 2012 elections is having an effect on world stock indices as the neck-to-neck battle for supremacy between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney piles up tension across the world, which is reflected in the leading stock markets around the globe.
Beginning at home ground US, stock market futures rose modestly, with Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 29 points, or 0.2%, to 13,082, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gaining 3.5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,415.50. Wall Street showed a modest rise with The Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing 19.28 points, or 0.2%, to end at 13,112.44.
European stock markets posted small gains, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.4% to 274.34, while Asia markets diverged, with gains in South Korea and weakness for Japanese and Chinese shares as investors there awaited the US election outcome.
Asian markets traded flat this morning with gains in South Korea coinciding with weakness in Japanese and Chinese shares. Asia Dow was little changed, rising 0.02% in late afternoon trading hours in east Asia. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated 0.3% to close at 21,944.4 points, slipping for a second day after closing at its highest level of the year on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average tipped 0.4% lower, and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.4%.
Crude-oil futures were little changed in early electronic trading Tuesday. US benchmark light, sweet crude for December delivery climbed 5 cents higher, or 0.1%, to $85.70 a barrel on Globex during Asian trading hours. The increase came after oil futures rose 79 cents to $85.65 a barrel during Monday’s regular session on the New York Mercantile Exchange.