Global stock markets were higher Tuesday as traders followed the U.S. presidential debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France’s CAC-40 rose 1.5 percent to 4,410.55 points and Germany’s DAX gained 0.2 percent to 10,412.22. London’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.2 percent to 6,830.99. On Monday, the DAX fell 2.2 percent and the CAC-40 lost 1.8 percent. The FTSE 100 was down 1.3 percent. Wall Street looked set for gains, with the future for the Standard & Poor’s 500 up 0.4 percent and that for the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.1 percent. On Monday, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite all dropped 0.9 percent.
ASIA’S DAY: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1 percent to 23,564.59 points and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.8 percent to 16,683.93. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6 percent to 2,998.17 and Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.9 percent to 2,017.94. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.4 percent to 5,497.40 and India’s Sensex added 0.1 percent to 28,319.04. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Thailand rose. Other Southeast Asian markets declined.
DEBATE WATCH: Investors watched the Clinton-Trump debate in a tight race that has unnerved markets seeking certainty about the future of U.S. policy. Trump has called for controls on trade and immigration, while Clinton is seen as more engaged with Asia. Uncertainty about the election outcome has made global markets risk-averse.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Markets are searching for the least worse option between the two U.S. candidates. One is a known market bad, the other an unknown bad,” said Michael McCarthy of CMC Markets in a report. “Any ramping up of populist rhetoric would likely rattle investors. Any perception that the outsider candidate won the debate could bring a market rout.”
EUROPEAN BANKS: European banks tumbled after the German magazine Focus said Deutsche Bank won’t get a government bailout if it asks for one. U.S.-traded shares of Deutsche Bank fell 7.1 percent. Focus said the German government also won’t help the Deutsche Bank by intervening with U.S. officials who want it to pay $14 billion to end an investigation into its sale of mortgage-backed securities.
WALL STREET: Stocks fell for a second straight day. Banks were hurt by a drop in bond yields, which means lower interest rates and smaller profits on loans. Consumer companies fell as home improvement retailers were affected by a slowdown in sales of new homes. Stocks are coming off two weeks of solid gains. The Nasdaq set all-time highs twice last week.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 27 cents to $45.66 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.45 on Monday to close at $45.93. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 42 cents to $47.51 in London. It gained $1.45 the previous session to $47.93.
CURRENCY: The dollar strengthened to 100.52 yen from Monday’s 100.37 yen. The euro was unchanged at $1.1248.