The Nation


US election

Markets welcome Obama's victory

Thai shares rose on Wednesday in tandem with advances in Asian bourses, as US President Barack Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney to win a second term.

At noon, the Stock Exchange of Thailand index edged up 3.70 points or 0.28 per cent to 1,304.54 points. At the close, the index slightly dipped, down 1.10 point or 0.08 per cent to 1,299.74 points. Turnover was Bt41.87 billion. The advance was tempered by concerns over his ability to get a budget agreement from a divided Congress.

The positive reaction witnessed in the morning session highlighted the fact that the world favours continuity in economic and foreign policies, given the ongoing crisis in Europe and slowdown in the United States and China.

In the first term, Obama has won praise for reviving General Motors and Chrysler which somewhat boosted the job market. His administration also put banks through a proper stress test, which led to heavy recapitalisation. American banks are now in a better shape than their peers in Europe. Among flaws, Obama was criticised for slowness in tackling the "fiscal cliff", the combination of tax increases and spending cuts.

"The US and Thailand will remain close. Both nations share massively overlapping economic and security interests. I don't think the election results will change much in terms of the current global outlook they share. Global economic uncertainties and continuing debt woes in Europe will continue to be a long-lived risk. Ongoing regional inflows, spurred by recent QE3 measures should continue the trend, but that comes with the fact that businesses and investors have to stay risk-averse and be cautious of possible profit-taking," said Sira Intarakumthornchai, Chief Executive Officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Thailand.

Next year, Thailand and the US will celebrate the 180th anniversary of their relations.

"I think it'll give us a chance to look back at the things we've accomplished together, and also provide a time to look forward to the future of both countries, particularly how we can work better together to deepen our existing friendship whether it's trade, investment or export. Thailand and ASEAN have increasingly played crucial roles on a global stage, similar to developed markets like the US. I believe that the friendship will continue to grow even tighter and stronger in the years to come," Sira added.

NBC News’ recently survey highlighted 3 big reasons to explain Obama’s victory.

First, despite a slim majority of voters thinking the country is on the wrong track, 54 percent approve of the way Obama is doing his job, and the electorate was almost exactly split on whether Obama or Romney would be better at handling the economy.

Among the four voters in 10 who said they think economic conditions in the country are getting better, a huge majority, nearly nine out of ten, said they voted for Obama.

Finally, a slight majority of voters voiced an unfavorable view of Romney personally, while a slight majority had a favorable view of Obama. On the attribute of whether the president or his GOP rival was "a candidate who cares about people like me" Obama had a massive lead over Romney.

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