Asian stocks slipped and the dollar was under pressure on Wednesday in the lead up to the first U.S. presidential debate, as financial markets looked to take a measure of both candidates.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.1% in early trade. It is headed for a monthly drop of 3.3%, the largest fall since March.
- Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.2% and Australia’s ASX 200 fell 1.3%, while markets in Seoul rose 0.8%.
- Japanese shares fell on Wednesday, tracking overnight declines on Wall Street, as US President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden traded barbs in a testy debate that made most investors reluctant to take on risky trades.
- The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.25% to 23,479.09 by 0142 GMT, with industrial and technology shares leading the decline The broader Topix was down 0.5% at 1,649.88.
- The Dow and S&P 500 fell half a per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.3%.
- In currency markets, the US dollar was also down slightly before the debate, hitting one-week lows against the euro and Swiss franc.
- he dollar index fell 0.3%.
- Spot gold steadied at $1,895 an ounce.
- Oil prices nursed losses amid caution ahead of the debate and rising coronavirus cases.
- U.S. crude fell 1% to $38.92 per barrel and Brent settled at $41.03.