A record 47 million Americans already have cast ballots, eclipsing total early voting from the 2016 election.
Trump trails former vice president Biden in national polls, but the contest is much tighter in some battleground states where the election will likely be decided.
S&P 500 index futures were down 0.14%, little changed from levels before the debate started.
Here are analysts’ reactions:
VASU MENON, SENIOR INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, OCBC BANK WEALTH MANAGEMENT, SINGAPORE
“It was a slightly more civilised debate this time around, but Trump failed to make up for lost ground from the first debate. Biden came through better than Trump in this debate and this should help to cement his lead over Trump and may just help him to cross the final line with a win. Biden was more persuasive in the debate on COVID-19 and the stalemate with fiscal stimulus, which are critical issues for the American people and that should benefit him in the polls.”
MASAFUMI YAMAMOTO, CHIEF CURRENCY STRATEGIST, MIZUHO SECURITIES, TOKYO
“Trump’s behaviour is better than the previous debate, which is good for him, but Biden has been able to show his leadership. I don’t think this debate is going to change Trump’s probability of winning. That we can see from the reaction in futures and markets.
“A bigger lead for Biden contributes to risk off trades, but we are not sure what the turnout will be for Republicans and Democrats.
“Perhaps the turnout will be higher for the Democrats, but this debate is not a gamechanger because so many people have already voted.”
GARY NG, NATIXIS ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIST, HONG KONG
“The market reaction is rather muted in Asian trading hours but has slightly tilted towards a more conservative sentiment as seen in the strengthened dollar index.
“While the debate has yet to offer any new perspective from both candidates, global investors are likely to be brace for any upcoming risks.
“But the short term impact on Asia should be limited as investors have already priced in the uncertainty of the U.S. election. What will change such a view could be any wild card stemming from an October surprise or an unclear election result leading to further clarification, especially if the situation is dragged into quagmire for a long time.”
MARY NICOLA, PINEBRIDGE INVESTMENTS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE
“If Trump wins, markets will know that it is more of the same and the reaction will be limited. The impact on markets comes from the policies the candidates represent.
“A blue wave would have a very different impact than a Biden win and the Senate remains with the Republicans and Congress with the Democrats. A blue wave may lead to concerns about the impact on the tech sector; while a Biden win and a split Congress may imply another four years of limited policy changes and politicking.”
I am Blogger, Share my views and stories to help people around me. Reach out to me in case you have something I can help with.