Preliminary results from the US congressional elections coming in as polls predicted cheered Asian markets and the rand on Wednesday morning.

The rand strengthened from over R14.19/$ to R14.04/$ at about 6.30am.

Time in GMT, so 4.30am on the graph is 6.30am South African time
Image: Iris

The rand was trading at R16.09/€ and R18.45/£.

As expected, early vote counts pointed to US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party losing their majority in the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party.

The US midterm elections mainly revolved around the House of Representatives rather than the Senate where congressmen are elected for six years rather than four. Few of the seats in the US’s upper legislature contested in Tuesday’s election were in urban, liberal districts, making a Democratic Party victory in the Senate a long shot.

With results coming in as expected, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.43%, mainland China’s Shenzhen composite index rose 0.64% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 1.17%.

Tencent was up 2.2% to HK298.40, indicating a good day for its 31%-owner Naspers and in turn the JSE.

But in Sydney, the JSE top 40’s second largest constituent, BHP, was down 0.85% to A$33.26.

The Reserve Bank is scheduled to release October’s foreign exchange reserve figures at 8am on Wednesday, which are expected to remain near September’s $50.4bn.

JSE-listed companies that may release results include African Equity Empowerment and Sandown Capital.