30 market strategists reveal investments

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Joe Biden and Donald Trump speak during the first U.S. presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020.

Kevin Dietsch/UPI | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stock market analysts in Asia clearly do not agree on who will win the U.S. presidential election. But they’re pretty unified on how they plan to play it.

CNBC asked 30 strategists a series of questions about the U.S. election and their current investments, offering them anonymity in exchange for their views. All 30 respondents were based in the Asia-Pacific region.

CNBC carried out the email-based early last week, and subsequently followed up with the strategists to ask if they had changed their outlook following the first presidential debate and the news that President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus. (Of the 30 respondents, three modified their predictions on the election’s outcome.)

Who wins in 2020?

The Asia-based investors were sharply divided on the central political question. Twelve analysts predicted a victory for former Vice President Joe Biden, 11 predicted a contested election, and seven picked Trump to win.

The Democrats have given no indication that they will be any easier on China than the GOP.

Asia-based market strategist

“This (diagnosis) news adds some uncertainty, and Biden has gained a bit with market predictors,” one analyst said via e-mail. “But too much is still unknown to expect a change yet.”

How strategists are playing the vote

A clear majority of market analysts polled by CNBC are raising cash and buying relatively safe assets such as gold ahead of the Nov. 3 vote. Nineteen of the 30 strategists said they are increasing their cash holdings, including the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen. They’re also moving into gold and U.S. Treasurys.

We are constructive for 2021 outlook and expect Asian markets to bounce back eventually, should we see volatility