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Markets cheer Clinton in US presidential debate

Financial markets Tuesday cheered 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 Clinton bested her rival in the 90-minute showdown, some reversing earlier declines.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary spraks during a debate-watch party at The Space at Westbury on September 26, 2016 in Westbury, New York.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP) / 2016.mb.com.ph

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary spraks during a debate-watch party at The Space at Westbury on September 26, 2016 in Westbury, New York.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP) / 2016.mb.com.ph

Tokyo ended 0.8 percent up, a dramatic volte-face from its 0.9 percent drop at the open, while Sydney also trimmed early losses.

Hong Kong opened 0.5 percent higher but jumped in the afternoon to close more than one percent higher. Shanghai was up 0.6 percent 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, a chief market strategist at CMC Markets, told Bloomberg News.

“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 safe-haven 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 two percent to 19.4391 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,” Khoon Goh, the head of regional research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore, told Bloomberg.

Investors reassured

Angus Nicholson, a Melbourne-based market analyst at IG Ltd. agreed that the market swing may be a reflection of 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 Monday’s gains, with eyes on a producers’ meeting in Algeria.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet Wednesday 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.

West Texas Intermediate was down 34 cents at $45.59 while Brent declined 47 cents to $46.88.

“The markets are waiting for more news out of Algeria,” OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley told AFP,

“It’ll all come down to whether Saudi Arabia and Iran can put aside their differences.”

In early European trade, London added 0.1 percent, Paris gained 0.2 percent and Frankfurt was flat.