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Market impact: Ukraine presidential election

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Ukraine held its presidential election Sunday, May 25, and exit polls indicate that candy tycoon Petro Poroshenko was elected. The billionaire vowed "to bring peace to the Ukrainian land", maintain strong ties to Europe, and mend relations with Russia.

Petro Poroshenko was the former foreign minister, and a major supporter of closer ties with Europe. He was the only tycoon who publicly supported the protestors in Kiev's Independence Square. He faces a huge challenge to unite Ukraine, which is already in a deadly civil conflict with rebels that have declared a separatist republic.

In Eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists seized government buildings and the fighting with Ukraine soldiers was fierce, less than 20 percent of the polling stations were open "after gunmen intimidated locals by smashing ballot boxes". Nationwide it is estimated that the turnout was 60 percent of 35.5 million eligible voters, of which Poroshenko received nearly 56 percent (out of 21 candidates).

In the interim, Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly stated that he will respect the results of Sunday's election and work closely with the newly elected president. There have been no reports of any fighting between Ukraine soldiers and pro-Russian separatists since the election.

The White House praised the Ukraine government for carrying out the election despite the violence in East Ukraine with pro-Russian separatists. The U.S. and Germany had threatened increased sanctions against Russia if the election was disrupted.

Market Impact

It is too early to determine the impact of the Ukraine presidential election on the U.S. and European markets. In Asia, which just closed, all markets advanced except the Hang Seng.

At the close, the Asian markets are: Asia Dow up 0.65%; Nikkei 225 up 0.97%; Hang Seng down -0.03%; Shanghai up 0.17%; Sensex up 1.70%; Singapore up 0.09%.

The U.S. markets are closed Monday for Memorial Day. Trading will resume on Tuesday.

If the Markets move down on Tuesday, stay on the side lines or consider Contra ETFs. For Option players, selling premium is advised.

For more information about options, see the 'Suggested by the author' links below.

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