The Election Showed a Divided Country. Investors Can Live With That.

The Election Showed a Divided Country. Investors Can Live With That.


HONG KONG — Investors on Wednesday appeared to take the prospect of a divided government in Washington in stride, as Asian markets fell modestly, European markets opened higher and Wall Street looked set for a mildly positive opening.

Markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai fell slightly as the Democratic Party won a majority in the United States House of Representatives. The election results were largely as expected, and trading during the Asia day was tame.

In Europe, the major stock markets opened about 1 percent higher.

The biggest fall in Asia was in China, where slowing economic growth and the trade war with the United States have been the main market drivers in recent months. Stocks there were down about 0.6% late on Wednesday. Other Asian markets were down less than half a percentage point.

Futures that track stocks in the United States signaled a small bump could be in the works on Wednesday morning. Futures that track the S&P 500-stock index were up 0.1 percent.

Investors see a Democratic-controlled House as an obstacle to President Trump and his efforts to slash regulations related to the finance industry and the environment, though it is unlikely to have a major effect on the United States economy. The Senate remained in Republican control, gaining seats in rural areas that favored Mr. Trump and where he campaigned in the last weeks.

“Their implications are likely to be confined to shaping the regulatory and fiscal environment for specific sectors, notably financials and industrials,” said UBS, the investment bank, in a note on Tuesday.

The impact on President Trump’s trade war with China is less certain. The loss of the House to the Democratic Party represents a blow to President Trump and his Republican Party, and signals dissatisfaction with his leadership. At the same time, Mr. Trump has wide latitude to act by himself on trade without input from Congress, and some Democratic lawmakers are sympathetic to his attitude toward Beijing.



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