US election snapshot: Trump plays China card, but crowd would rather hear about ‘crooked’ Hillary

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 8:07am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 November, 2016, 11:32am
Asian focus: Trump says China is building a fortress in South China Sea

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to play the China card, most recently at a rally on Thursday in Concord, North Carolina.

He described Beijing’s South China Sea militarisation as “building a fortress”, and added that China did not like the US.

Reporter’s notebook: a Hongkonger in Trump territory confuses the true believers

However, the lines got only a lukewarm response from a bored-looking crowd. That was in sharp contrast to the enthusiastic reception when he lashed out at “crooked” Hillary Clinton, his Democratic Party rival, and repeated his pledge to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Wife Melania Trump meanwhile gave a speech in Pennsylvania where she said she’d work to improve a social media culture that has gotten “too mean and too tough” – riddled with insults based on “looks and intelligence” – if she becomes first lady. She didn’t make any mention of the Twitter activities of her husband, who has used the social media platform to relentlessly attack his political foes, journalists, critics and other entertainers for years with demeaning comments based on their appearances and intelligence.

Clinton still holds a narrow lead, NYT poll suggests

Hillary Clinton still holds an edge over Donald Trump in the tumultuous final stages of the campaign, with most voters saying their minds are already made up and late revelations about both candidates make no significant difference to them.

That’s according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released Thursday. Five days before Election Day, the margin between the candidates is narrow, with 45 per cent of likely voters supporting Clinton, and 42 per cent favouring Trump. But the difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, has the support of 5 per cent of likely voters, and the Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, has 4 per cent. More than 22 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and roughly one in five likely voters who participated in the poll said they had already voted.

Who’s going to win? JPMorgan doesn’t really care

While the world anxiously awaits the results of the November 8 election, the world’s fifth largest asset manager has explained why it doesn’t much care either way who wins.

Bob Michele, the fixed income chief investment officer of JPMorgan Asset Management, said the election is unlikely to pose a major risk for financial markets, as Congress is likely to be ruled by Republicans who will likely put a brake on many policies, whoever wins.

“We are in an interesting position where, if Clinton gets elected, the House - if it remains Republican - will likely push back a lot of things she wants to do.

“But if Trump gets elected and he tries to push through a lot of the extremist, protectionist things he has talked about, I expect the House will push that back,” he told Reuters.