The ASX 200 is surging as FBI clears Clinton

Credit: CY_swear_020314_5884

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has rocketed higher today, defying early expectations that shares around Australia would dive again.

Much like equity markets around the world, the local share market has been the subject of plenty of volatility recently. That volatility largely relates to a late surge in Donald Trump’s chances of becoming the next president of the United States of America, with the winner to be decided on Wednesday, Sydney time.

Most pundits wrote Trump off after his lewd comments bragging about sexually assaulting women. In yet another 2016 election twist, however, the perceived probability of a Trump victory began to rise again after the FBI confirmed it had reopened the case involving Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That sent markets around the world into a tailspin, while gold prices soared.

However, just 48 hours before the election day, FBI Director James Comey has again confirmed it would not press charges against Clinton. It’s impossible to know how much damage Comey caused by reopening the investigation in the first place, but investors are certainly feeling more confident of a Clinton win.

The ASX 200 has soared 1.2% so far to trade 63 points higher this afternoon. It’s once again trading at 5244 points, which is still well below its recent levels of around 5450 points.

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) has mostly led the charge, soaring 2.8% after it released its full-year results this morning. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is up 2.2% as well, while National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) has surged 1.5%.

Mining heavyweight BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) has gained 1.9% as well to trade at $22.70, with Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) rising 0.6%.

It would be unwise to completely write Trump off just yet. In June, investors around the world were shocked when Britain decided to exit the European Union (Brexit) and a Trump outcome is still a possibility this week.

Still, investors seem more willing to bet against that happening today, with the potential for further gains over the coming days as well.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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