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Global stocks eke out gains after second presidential debate

Associated Press Associated Press 10/10/2016

LONDON — Global stock markets eked out gains Monday while the Mexican peso struck a one-month high against the dollar as traders assessed the second U.S. presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. However, with the Columbus Day holiday in the U.S., trading levels are expected to remain muted.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, London's FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent at 7,067 while Germany's DAX rose 0.8 percent to 10,573. The CAC-40 in France was 0.6 percent higher at 4,475. U.S. stocks were poised for solid gains at the open with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.4 percent.

CLINTON VS TRUMP: Much of the discussion in markets centered on the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Though Trump is widely thought to have done better than in the first debate, Clinton is expected to retain her lead in the opinion polls, especially after the controversy over his comments about women that emerged with the release of a video from 2005.

MEXICAN PESO SOARS: Mexico's currency is widely seen as an indicator in markets about the likelihood of a Trump presidency. Among many proposals related to Mexico, Trump has argued for the construction of a wall along the U.S./Mexico border to stop illegal immigration into the United States. At one point, the peso had spiked around 2 percent to above 19 pesos per dollar.

ANALYST TAKE: "The weekend's developments have prompted the market to discount an even smaller probability of Donald Trump becoming president," said Lee Hardman, an analyst at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ. "It has resulted in the Mexican peso rebounding further overnight."

ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.4 percent to 3,048.14 and India's Sensex added 0.2 percent to 28,115.88. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.1 percent to 5,475.40 and Seoul's Kospi rose 0.1 percent to 2,056.82. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Southeast Asia declined.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 54 cents to $50.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 63 cents at $52.56.

CURRENCY: The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.1154 while the dollar rose 0.4 percent to 103.32 yen.

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