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ASX this week: US election in focus

ASX this week: US election in focus

All eyes will be on the US presidential and congressional elections this week, which will dictate global financial market movements.

Australian shares fell for a fourth week in a row last week, with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index plunging 1.9% over five days to 5,180.8.

On Friday:

  • Brent oil declined 1.7% to US$45.58 a barrel, with a weekly loss of 8.3%
  • WTI crude dropped 1.3% to US$44.07 a barrel; down 9.5% for the week
  • Iron ore with 62% content delivered to Qingdao, China, fell 0.7% to US$65 a dry metric tonne; up 1.6% for the week
  • Spot gold traded at US$1,305.06 an ounce; up 2.3% for the week
  • Australian dollar traded at 76.73 US cents, strengthening 1% over the week; the currency gained 0.1% to 76.82 US cents at 11:06am Sydney time on Monday

What to watch this week

The US election will dominate investors' attention this week, with results from the presidential and congressional elections expected to flow through Asian trade on Wednesday.

"At present the presidential election is too close to call while control of the Senate and House of Representatives also could shift," said CommSec.

In many countries, uncertainty over the outcome of a national vote often causes volatility in financial markets, as trading could be impacted by sentiment and emotion in the lead up to the polls.

Meanwhile in Australia, the so-called annual general meeting (AGM) season starts this week, where directors of ASX-listed companies meet shareholders to provide updates on their business operations and outlook.

Those holding an AGM this week include Fortescue Metals Group, Medibank, Ramsay Health Care and Wesfarmers. Investors are likely to watch the commentary from these companies for any potential share price movements.

In China, authorities have scheduled to release various economic data, including imports and exports, and producer and consumer prices.

"Other data has shown a lift in the pace of the Chinese economy so investors will want to see confirmation in the trade data, especially imports," CommSec said.

Stock movers

Below are the five best- and worst-performing ASX 200 stocks for the week ended Friday, November 4.

Company/Index

ASX code

Weekly price change

Saracen Mineral Holdings

SAR

+15.3%

Orocobre

ORE

+13.5%

Evolution Mining

EVN

+12.9%

Newcrest Mining

NCM

+10.6%

OZ Minerals

OZL

+10.6%

S&P/ASX 200

XJO

-1.9%

NextDC

NXT

-10.6%

Syrah Resources

SYR

-10.7%

Flight Centre Travel Group

FLT

-11.3%

Mayne Pharma Group

MYX

-13.8%

Webjet

WEB

-16.9%

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Source: Bloomberg

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. The inclusion of companies in this article does not constitute a recommendation and it’s vital to remember that the value of shares in any company can fall as well as rise, which means you could lose money by investing in them. Investors should consult a range of resources, and if necessary, seek professional advice, before making investment decisions in regard to their objectives, financial and taxation situations and needs because these have not been taken into account. Any securities or prices used in the examples given are for illustrative purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 (CommSec) is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 and a Participant of the ASX Group and Chi-X Australia.