Markets cheer Clinton in presidential debate
FINANCIAL markets cheered yesterday Hillary Clinton’s performance in the first US presidential debate, with stocks and high-risk currencies staging a “relief rally” as investors saw her as victor over Republican rival Donald Trump.
Key Asian bourses got a bounce as a confident Ms Clinton bested her rival in the 90-minute showdown, some reversing earlier declines.
Tokyo ended 0.8 percent up, a dramatic volte-face from its 0.9pc drop at the open, while Sydney also trimmed early losses.
Hong Kong opened 0.5pc higher but jumped in the afternoon to close more than 1pc higher. Shanghai was up 0.6pc by the close after being flat most of the day.
Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore also gained.
“US futures have moved ahead as the debate unravelled, and I think that is one of the factors” for Asian markets erasing losses, Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets said.
“In policy terms, no doubt to Clinton; in emotional and tone terms, Clinton is also ahead at this stage. She is winning on both counts would be my current assessment.”
On forex markets the yen dropped, while emerging-market and other currencies surged as traders moved back into riskier assets.
The Mexican peso rebounded off a record low, rocketing over 2pc to 19.44 against the dollar. The unit had slumped before the debate as the prospect of a Trump presidency fanned concerns over the neighbours’ political and economic ties.
“Given that the Mexican peso has been the most sensitive currency to the US election outcome, it took centre stage as the market reacted to the US presidential debate,” said Khoon Goh, the head of regional research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore.
Angus Nicholson, a Melbournebased market analyst at IG Ltd, agreed the market swing may be a reflection of Ms Clinton doing well.
“Trump is largely regarded as a market negative and certainly him doing quite poorly in the debate would reassure a lot of investors. But it’s early days,” he was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
Oil reversed the previous day’s gains, with eyes on a producers’ meeting in Algeria.
Members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet today with key producer Russia, on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum.
They are expected to discuss ways to stabilise prices that have been depressed since 2014 amid a stubborn supply glut, but there is ongoing speculation about whether producers will agree to restrict output. Iran has said it will not do so.
West Texas Intermediate was down 34 cents at US$45.59 while Brent lost 47 cents to $46.88.
People watch the first US presidential debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, at a debate watch party at The Abbey bar and restaurant in West Hollywood, California.