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.

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 fo...

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