Crude up more than $1/bbl, Asia petchem shares higher after Biden wins US presidency

04:19' PM - Monday, 09/11/2020

Crude oil prices rose more than $1/bbl and Asian petrochemical shares strengthened on Monday after Joe Biden won the US presidential elections, with investors shrugging off worries about the worsening coronavirus pandemic which has crossed the 50m mark globally.

By 03:10 GMT, Brent crude futures for January was up by $1.06/bbl while US WTI crude rose by $1.05/bbl.

The Associated Press and other major US networks on 7 November called the US presidential elections in Biden's favour as he becomes the first person to defeat an incumbent president since 1992.

Biden won 290 electoral votes, surpassing the 270-vote threshold needed to win.

Donald Trump has yet to concede and Biden's victory remains a projection as key states are still tallying up votes.

Trump's campaign has launched lawsuits in multiple key states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Asian shares responded positively to Biden's victory in early trade on Monday, with Japan's Asahi Kasei up close to 3%, South Korean producer LG Chem rising by 1.67% and Chinese chemicals major Sinopec 0.94% higher.

Investor sentiment was also supported by fresh data from China Customs over the weekend which showed that exports grew by 11.4% year on year in US dollar terms in October, accelerating from the 9.9% expansion in September.

China's exports to the US rose 22.5% year on year in October, its highest reading since June 2012, as the worsening coronavirus situation in the US weighed on its local manufacturing production.

China’s imports from the US jumped to 33.4% year on year in October from 24.7% in September, "pointing to Beijing’s continued effort to fulfill its commitments on the Phase One trade deal with the US", Japan-based Nomura Global Markets Research said in a note.

China’s trade surplus with the US widened slightly to $31.4bn in October from $30.8bn in September.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) in a statement following news of Biden's victory urged the US President-elect and his administration to chart a different path for US trade policy.

"Robust trade in raw materials and finished products helps fuel the growth of our sector here at home – but current costly tariff policy continues to cut into our industry’s competitive advantage," the ACC said.

The ACC noted that the US chemical industry remains a key player on the front lines of the fight against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by helping to make medical supplies and equipment, including protective gear like masks and face shields, as well as cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting solutions.

Coronavirus pandemic to continues weighing on markets

With the US elections now over, investors are refocusing on the worsening coronavirus pandemic, with global cases now topping 50m, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University on Monday.

The US recorded more than 100,762 new infections and 453 new deaths early on Monday, marking the fifth highest day of new cases in the country since the pandemic began, according to the data.

The total number of coronavises cases in the US is now at over 9.9m. - ICIS -

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