By Associated Press
Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Friday after President Donald Trump and his challenger former Vice President Joe Biden faced off in their second and final debate before the Nov. 3 election.
Stocks rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai but declined in Sydney.
In their debate late Thursday, U.S. time, Trump and his Democratic challenger Biden largely avoided the disorganized rancor of their first face-off in a more substantive exchange highlighting their vastly different approaches to many challenges facing the nation.
At the least, it gave markets no fresh reason for alarm.
“The final U.S. presidential debate was less chaotic than the first but offered little new information to inform the result for markets,” Stephen Innes of Axi said in a commentary. “Meanwhile, discussion relevant to the post-election economic outlook was limited, particularly from President Trump.”
U.S. stock futures /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.58% /zigman2/quotes/208225921/composite SP -0.30% shifted from modest losses to tiny gains in the debate’s aftermath. Asian shares also trended higher.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.91% picked up 0.3% and the Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.56% in Hong Kong jumped 0.6%. In Seoul, the Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.94% climbed 0.4% while the Shanghai Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.22% edged 0.1% higher.
Stocks dipped in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.78% , while Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.42% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +1.42% gained. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.70% gave up 0.2%.
Overnight, stocks shook off a wobbly start and ended higher, with the S&P 500 up 0.5%.
Several earnings reports from big U.S. companies came in better than analysts had expected, which helped put investors in a buying mood.
Also, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said progress was being made on talks to deliver more stimulus to the U.S. economy.
Markets have been gyrating for weeks as investors gauge the chances of Washington reaching a deal on more support for the economy. Time is running out to get something done before the election, which has dimmed some of the optimism that Democrats and Republicans will soon strike a bargain on an aid package.
The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.16% rose 17.93 points to 3,453.49. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.58% gained 0.5% to 28,363.66. The Nasdaq composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.48% added 0.2% to 11,506.01.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been negotiating daily this week on a possible aid package. On Thursday, Pelosi said that progress is still being made.
“Help is on the way. It will be bigger, it will be better, it will be safer and it will be retroactive,” she said.
A piece of such a deal could include extra benefits for workers who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. A report on Thursday morning showed that 787,000 workers applied for unemployment benefits last week.
While that’s still an incredibly high number relative to history, it’s down from 842,000 the prior week. It also was not nearly as bad as economists were expecting.
Another report showed that sales of previously occupied homes accelerated even more last month than economists expected. Low mortgage rates are driving the action, as is a surge in interest in homes in Lake Tahoe and other resort areas as people look to work from home in more attractive locales, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Big companies, meanwhile, continue to report profits for the summer that took a hit from the coronavirus-caused recession. But they’re mostly not as bad as feared.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 0.85% from 0.86% late Thursday. It’s still close to its highest level since June.
U.S. crude oil gained 5 cents to $40.69 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added 61 cents to $40.64 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude , the international standard, added 6 cents to $42.52 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.1886% bought 104.71 Japanese yen, down from 104.86 yen late Thursday.