Regional markets rose yesterday as investors piled back in after the United States midterm elections panned out much as expected.

DBS chief investment officer Hou Wey Fook said the results were overall positive for financial markets because the political gridlock will weigh on fiscal stimulus in the US, and, in turn, slow down the rise of the greenback and interest rates.

Mr Hou added: “We expect Trump’s tax reform and other infrastructure programmes to face stiffer resistance.”

Ms Silvia Dall’Angelo, senior economist at Hermes Investment Management, noted that trade tensions with China may escalate. “A constrained President Trump might focus more forcefully on his trade agenda, an area where he enjoys wider freedom to implement policies without Congress approval.”

China released data yesterday showing that imports and exports beat expectations last month, but analysts attributed the better performance to traders rushing shipments to the US ahead of higher tariffs.

With the trade war’s impact remaining uncertain, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2 per cent and Shenzhen dipped 0.5 per cent.

Otherwise, regional markets ended in the black, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumping 1.8 per cent and the Kospi in Seoul ending 0.67 per cent higher. Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and Malaysia all closed slightly up.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index picked up 27.88 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 3,093.24. Turnover was 1.74 billion shares worth $1.17 billion, with 192 gainers and 202 losers.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding rose 2.3 per cent to $1.32. It reported a 10 per cent fall in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday night but revenue rose 23 per cent.

OCBC research analyst Low Pei Han upgraded Yangzijiang to “buy” from “hold” with a higher fair value estimate of $1.41, while CGS-CIMB’s Ms Lim Siew Khee maintained her “add” call with a target price of $1.37.

Genting Singapore was the most heavily traded counter, with 52.7 million shares changing hands as it lost 2.7 per cent to 89 cents before releasing third-quarter results after the market closed. It posted a net profit of $210.4 million, up 46 per cent from a year ago.

Singtel fell 1.9 per cent to $3.08, after posting a 77 per cent fall in second-quarter net profit yesterday.

ComfortDelGro lost 6.8 per cent to $2.20. Deutsche Bank Research downgraded it to “sell”, flagging the start of a potential price war as Grab increases driver incentives ahead of rival Go-Jek’s entry here.

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