19 July 2018
Global stocks rallied as investors wagered Hillary Clinton will be the next US president. Photo: Reuters
Global stocks rallied as investors wagered Hillary Clinton will be the next US president. Photo: Reuters

World’s richest add US$35 bln to wealth after market surge

The world’s wealthiest people became US$35.4 billion richer on Monday as stock markets rallied on mounting speculation that Hillary Clinton will be elected US president over billionaire rival Donald Trump.

Their combined net worth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index rose 0.8 percent from Friday to US$4.4 trillion at the close of trading in New York.

Global stocks and commodities rallied as investors wagered the FBI’s latest determination that Clinton’s handling of e-mails wasn’t a crime has boosted her chances of becoming
the 45th president.

On Wall Street, US stocks racked up their biggest one-day percentage gain since March 1, while a volatility measure recorded its biggest drop since late June, Reuters said.

According to the final Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project, Clinton has about a 90 percent chance of defeating Trump in the race for the White House. 

Her chances are roughly similar to last week’s odds, and any upset by Trump on Tuesday depends on an unlikely combination of turnouts of white, black and Hispanic voters in six or seven states, according to the survey released on Monday.

The former secretary of state was leading Trump by about 45 percent to 42 percent in the popular vote, and was on track to win 303 votes in the Electoral College to Trump’s 235, clearing the 270 needed for victory, the survey found.

US billionaires prefer a Clinton presidency, as measured by their donations to the two candidates, with 17 of the country’s richest people contributing to the Democratic nominee, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The market’s perception is that a Clinton presidency will be similar to the last eight years in terms of regulatory action and the amount of change in the economy will be less than under a Trump presidency,” said Robert Lutts, chief investment officer of Cabot Wealth Management Inc. in Salem, Massachusetts.

US billionaires account for one-third of the Bloomberg wealth ranking and had the biggest gains among the group, adding US$22 billion. Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, ranked No. 3 in the world with US$68.2 billion, led the surge with a US$2.6 billion rise.

Warren Buffett, the world’s fourth-richest person with US$66 billion, added US$1.5 billion.

Gains were broad-based across sectors and industries, with 118 billionaires seeing gains of US$100 million or more.

Mexico’s richest person, telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, added US$2.5 billion as the Mexican peso rallied with expectation of a defeat for Trump.

Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with a net worth of US$86.3 billion, added US$1.5 billion.

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