Hillary Clinton wins first US presidential debate, say media and market watchers

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton performed better than her Republican rival Donald Trump in their first presidential debate on Monday (Tuesday Singapore time), according to polls.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton performed better than her Republican rival Donald Trump in their first presidential debate on Monday (Tuesday Singapore time), according to polls. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK - Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton performed better than her Republican rival Donald Trump in their first presidential debate on Monday (Tuesday, Singapore time), according to the media and market watchers.

CNBC, citing analysts' take on market reactions, said US stock index futures erased losses to trade positive as the debate kicked off. Futures were near session highs as the debate ended, with Dow futures briefly adding more than 100 points, the broadcaster reported.

"I think Hillary Clinton did pretty well. I think she was better prepared than Trump," CNBC quoted Mr Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird, as saying. "Whether the debate will mean anything (remains) to be seen," he added.

The US dollar last traded about 1.8 per cent weaker against the Mexican peso and was stronger against the yen. The euro-dollar held steady near US$1.125.

In the last few days, the Mexican peso hit all-time lows against the US dollar as Mr Trump appeared to gain momentum in election polls, said CNBC. The Republican has blamed Mexico for many US ills, including job losses, crime and excessive immigration. He has promised to impose punitive tariffs of up to 35 per cent on Mexican imports.

 

A poll by CNN and ORC International showed  an “overwhelming victory” for Mrs Clinton, with 62 per cent of Americans who watched the debate saying she won, compared to 27 per cent who said Mr Trump won. 

Fortune magazine website described Mrs Clinton as "composed and commanding, ticking through her policy prescriptions while landing a series of devastating blows on Donald Trump's record and readiness".

"A fidgety Trump meanwhile tried repeatedly to ruffle her with interruptions while riffing his way through his own answers, but struggled on both counts."

The Economist website said: "Those who switched on this debate thinking that Mr Trump is not qualified to be president will not have changed their minds. Those who began by thinking that Mrs Clinton is a dangerous socialist who should be locked up will have seen nothing to change their minds."

"But what did the 10-20% of voters who tell pollsters that they are undecided, or planning to vote for a third party, see? They saw one candidate who was well-prepared and a bit rambling, and another who was downright weird at times. 1-0 to Mrs Clinton."