Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden sparred on stage for the first time on Tuesday in a pivotal debate ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.
With more than a million Americans already casting early ballots, the debates kick off as investors worry about prolonged uncertainty after Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the election outcome.
S&P 500 index futures lifted 0.6% during the debate before erasing gains as the heated and chaotic debate ended.
Here are some business analysts’ reactions:
QUINCY CROSBY, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL, NEWARK
“If the attempt was to change the minds of anyone undecided I don’t think this debate, such as it’s called, did the job. It was out of control.
“Trump’s space probably enjoyed it tremendously and Biden’s space probably were hoping he could get more time to focus on his platform.
“I would have a feeling that it comes out most likely a wash (for the markets.) Although I did find it interesting that the two betting sites that I follow, I’m not saying that they galloped higher for Biden, it took a while, but you did see a little bit of an uptick.”
VASU MENON, SENIOR INVESTMENT STRATEGIST AT OCBC BANK WEALTH MANAGEMENT, SINGAPORE:
“I think the market outcome from the debate is fairly neutral because it didn’t favor either candidate in any big way.
“Wall Street futures only showed a modest uptick and Asian markets showed a mixed performance after the debate probably because the debate did not move the dial in any big way on electorate sentiment.”
MASAHIKO LOO, PORTFOLIO MANAGER, ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN, TOKYO
“The markets hadn’t had high hopes. The biggest takeaway was that Biden did not turn out to be “Sleepy Joe,” and dispelled concerns that he could not cope with debate and would reduce the chance of his winning. So I think the markets pricing of the outcome has not changed much.
“Biden has a lead over Trump but it is not clear if he can get enough electoral colleges, just like in 2016.
“It is becoming more likely that we won’t have a clear-cut winner on the night of the election and could have a few weeks of contested period. Some forward-looking markets, such as VIX, are pricing that in but some other markets such as stocks do not seem to have fully factored that in yet. So I expect risk-off trade on worries about a long contested period.”
AYAKO SERA, MARKET STRATEGIST, SUMITOMO MITSUI TRUST BANK, TOKYO
“Right now it looks like an even split between Trump and Biden, so it is difficult for the markets to move. What people are most concerned about is the fairness of the election and how it will be carried out.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty, so it is difficult to see a clear trend for the dollar/yen. Under normal circumstances, the positive economic data from China we’ve seen would support risk-off trades, but this time is different.”
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