As the delegates at UN climate negotiations woke up to the astonishing news that Donald Trump had become the new US President, stock markets went into a global free-fall. However, not everyone lost money, and a closer look into the Australian stock markets reveals that many mining company executives are celebrating a victory of their own.
Around the world, stock markets went into shock mode as the election results began to be unveiled.
In Europe, the British and German stock markets are down by small margins, but are sure to shift as the day progresses and the US wakes up.
But across Asia, markets have fallen much further. Here we see that in Japan, the Nikkei is down by 5.36% and the Australian stock exchange closed 1.9% down. That loss in the Nikkei isn’t just big, it’s Asian financial crisis big.
This global uncertainty and drop, is due largely to Trumps vague policy approach, and promises that he will rip up and renegotiate key trade policies and relationships.
But what it also highlights is just how volatile global fossil fuel-linked economies are to sudden shifts. The price of oil tumbled to $43 per gallon, but seems to have seen a resurgence.
In Australia, one of the most fossil-fuel intensive economies in the world, Trump’s election sent investors “spastic”.
On Twitter, the Australian Stock Exchange highlighted that today’s election was a record day for equity and futures markets, with an astonishing amount of trades in both of these sectors.
And in Futures markets, we saw over 97,000 deals made.
For a population of just over 21 million people, and very few of them playing the stock markets, this is an incredible amount of people buying and selling.
With all of this trading going on, not everyone loses. Anyone watching the gold price right now would be sitting pretty.
So too are many of Australian Mining companies. While most of Australia’s banks and stocks are down, some in Australia’s mining sector have seen their values increase as high as 10-15%.
This includes Saracen Mineral Holdings (up by 15%), Evolution Mining (up by 11%), Northern Star Resources (up by 10%), and Newcrest Mining Limited (up by 9.8%) who all closed the day much happier than many of their adversaries in the Divestment movement.
On Monday night, Canadian investigative reporter Naomi Klein challenged Australian politicians on popular show, Q&A specifically on the volatile role of capitalism on climate change.
This volatility was incredibly evident today in Australia, as stock brokers across Asia and Australia responded with record trades, mass losses and some mining companies rode a record day, as millions rushed to secure their money in gold.
With the US stock market and stock markets across Latin America set to open shortly, we can expect record trades as fossil fuels and minerals take centre stage around the world.
While the global Divestment movement has seen an incredible impact shifting opinions on the morality of investing in fossil fuel companies, it appears at least for today, that this ongoing addiction to fossil fuel-backed currencies will be sure to send global markets into another free-for all spending spree, leaving the average investor, and indeed the average global citizen, as vulnerable to fossil fuel prices, as we all are to climate change.