The third & final presidential debate

<p>Heading into the third and final US presidential election debate from Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton was sitting on a 9 point lead in the polls […]</p>

Heading into the third and final US presidential election debate from Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton was sitting on a 9 point lead in the polls and led Trump 47% to 38% in a four way race, as the latter suffered virtually irreparable damage to his campaign in the form of sexual assault allegations. After Trump’s disastrous first two debates expectations were low and it was Clinton’s debate to lose.

Topics of interest up for debate included gun control measures, the role of the supreme court, abortion, immigration, nuclear power escalation, economic conditions, national debt, sexual assaults by Trump, private email server, the Syrian war and how to end it.

Trump improved but only Hillary looked presidential

Trump’s performance was certainly calmer than the first two debates, in general managing to keep his cool after having prepared somewhat on policy. Gone was the ranting, irate Donald which the electorate has grown so familiar with and instead a more controlled, composed version of the Republican candidate appeared on stage.

However, keeping your cool is not enough to win a presidential debate, he was short on policy, glossed over issues and failed to provide detail in many areas. Added to that, he also looked rather childish at times, especially compared to the well-rehearsed, well-drilled Clinton, who rarely puts a foots wrong; “you’re the puppet” and “nasty woman” being just two examples.

All that aside, Trump shot himself in the foot and undermined his by far improved performance in one foul swoop, when he refused to say that he would accept the result of the election. In saying this, he is proclaiming that he does not respect the basic foundations of American democracy, a point that will not play to his favour as voters do not like to hear such comments of distrust from Presidential candidates.

Forex markets looked uninspired during final debate

The Forex markets, which were expected to be the biggest movers in relation to the debate, given that the main US stock market were closed, were actually fairly non-responsive to the third and final performance by the two candidates. Larger moves occurred prior to the debate, following a notable disappointment in Australia’s September employment data, whilst the Mexican peso, regarded as a gauge of Trump’s prospects, traded in a calm manner, sitting near lows for the day at 18.5350, indicating that a Clinton win may be comfortably pried in, in line with recent polls. If Clinton were to widen her lead, the decline of USD/MEX is expected to continue.

S&P futures gained 0.15%

S&P futures held steady throughout the debate, moving 0.15% higher as investors were showing signs of wanting to move out of safer havens and re-engage with riskier assets such as equites. It is well known that markets dislike uncertainty and look to keep the status quo, a presidency under Clinton could almost be considered a continuation of the Obama years and could happily see the S&P continue to push towards record highs. Should the polls show that post debate Hillary has extended her lead, we would expect a positive reaction from the markets.

In three weeks one of these two candidates will be elected as President and despite a much-improved effort from Trump, only one candidate looked the part tonight, that was Clinton. As far as this election goes it looks like it was just too little, too late from Donald Trump.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.