Asia-Pacific will look at Obama for revival: Moody’s

November 5th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaNew Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) The choice of Barack Obama’s cabinet will be keenly followed across the Asia-Pacific region as the world looks at the incoming US president to revive a “distraught economy”, global rating agency Moody’s said Wednesday.”The president-elect’s choice of cabinet will attract strong attention across the Asia-Pacific. The continued elimination of political uncertainty in the US and announcement of further stimulus measures will be welcomed by Asia-Pacific markets,” said Sharman Chan, an economist with Moody’s.

“Governments and markets in Asia will closely watch the approach the incoming administration will take regarding regulation, notably of financial markets. Policymakers in Asia are tentatively supporting leaders in Europe calling for enhanced regulation. Another flash point is trade,” Chan said.

According to her, Obama has “at times sounded protectionist”, and time would tell whether this will impact development of trade links around the world.

Chan said Obama now faces the “hard part of fixing the ailing US economy, which has been battered by the worst financial crisis in decades”.

“The severity of this economic downturn can be mitigated by sound government policies, and high hopes are placed on the incoming president to revive the distraught economy, assist struggling households and boost business confidence,” she said.

Asia-Pacific stock markets opened stronger Wednesday, following overnight gains in the US. There were no major immediate reactions to the election outcome, possibly because markets across the region had already factored in the result based on recent polls.

All major stock indices maintained early gains after Obama was confirmed as president-elect. The Hang Seng remains about 6 percent higher, the Nikkei up by more than 2 percent, while the ASX200 finished the day with a 3 percent rise.

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