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Investors Have Tepid Reaction to US Presidential Debate


A man uses a mobile phone in front of an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 27, 2016. Asian stock markets were mostly higher as traders followed the U.S. presidential debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Investors around the world were probably watching very closely as U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump argued over their different approaches to economic and other issues.

Many investors and economists say uncertainty about the future policies guiding the world's largest economy is one of the biggest risks facing stock markets.

But global stock market indicies changed little following the debate.

On U.S. markets, the S&P 500, the Dow, and NASDAQ advanced as much as 1 percent. In Europe, London's FTSE, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were all down two-tenths of a percent or more. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Japan's NIKKEI both rose around 1 percent. Gains or losses of 1 percent in a day of trading are relatively common for global stock markets.

Politico wrote that Trump, a Republican, had his strongest moments in the debate when he blamed Clinton, a Democrat, for problems growing out of trade deals and a slow economic recovery. But the news organization also said he offered few specifics on how to do better.

In a VOA interview, Alon Ben Meir of New York University said Clinton was "far better prepared and knowledgeable about international issues," particularly in the Middle East.

Clinton's husband, Bill, is a former president. Doug Harbrecht, Kiplinger senior editor, said that is why some voters are "wrestling" with the idea of a "Clinton dynasty." He said, "Her biggest problem is that people don't like her."

Harbrecht said Trump's followers believe he is "America's strongman and will gain the respect of other countries." He called Trump's trade policies "protectionist" and said they reflected a sharp break with decades of Republican policy.

Brad McMillan, chief investment officer of the Commonwealth Financial Network, said he would like to have seen "a more thoughtful discussion on trade policy and tax policy." He also said Trump's claims that the U.S. economy is in a bubble that is about to collapse overstate the case and are not "correct or responsible."

This was the first of three scheduled debates between the two presidential candidates.

VOA's Bernard Shusman contributed to this report from New York.