Mexican peso rises after Trump-Clinton debate, pound vulnerable again.

Mexican peso rises after Trump-Clinton debate, pound vulnerable again.

The Mexican peso and U.S. stock futures rose as investors saw less chance of Republican nominee Donald Trump winning next month’s presidential election, while sterling was under pressure after Friday’s “flash crash” in the British currency.

Futures on the S&P 500 ESc1 and Dow Jones industrial average 1YMc1 were up about 0.4 percent, suggesting Wall Street will open higher. U.S. stock markets are open on Monday, though the bond market is closed for the Columbus Day holiday

The pound initially dropped half a percent against a dollar boosted by expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December even after weaker than expected jobs data on Friday.

The UK currency , hit last week by concerns about the impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union, later stabilized and last stood at $1.2408, down 0.2 percent.

Its trade-weighted index =GBP, which is only calculated in London trading hours so missed Friday’s tumble, fell 0.7 percent at one point to its lowest since early 2009.

“Sterling should eventually go lower. How much lower though? I don’t think we get below the 1.15-1.18 level we saw a few days ago in the near term,” said Brian Tomlinson a senior fixed income portfolio manager with Allianz.

“Anything north of $1.2620 you are going to see a lot of short covering by short-term traders.”

In early Asian trade on Friday, the pound fell 20 percent to a three-decade low of $1.1491 in minutes as a drop on investor worry over Brexit snowballed as automated computer trades were triggered.

Concern grew last week that Britain is heading for a ‘hard’ exit from the EU, where it prioritizes full control over immigration over access to the bloc’s single market.

As this graphic  shows, only the Nigerian naira  has fallen more against the dollar than sterling this year.

Britain’s FTSE 100  rose 0.1 percent as the internationally-focused companies on the index gain on overseas revenues and competitiveness when the pound fall.

The more domestically-focused FTSE 250 index . was down 0.2 percent and British 10-year government bond yields GB10YT=RR rose 3.7 basis points to 1.02 percent.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent as firmer mining stocks offset the impact of a drop in financial shares. Mining stocks were boosted by a rise in copper prices CMCU3, with markets in China – the world’s biggest consumer of metals – re-opening after a week-long break.

Another notable mover on currency markets was the Mexican peso , which at one point was up 2 percent at 18.91 to the dollar as Trump’s chances of winning the White House seemed diminished after the second pre-election debate with Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump has vowed to build a wall on the border with Mexico and renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if he is elected, making the peso somewhat of a barometer of his chances. The Mexican currency was last up 1.9 percent at 18.97 per dollar.

A CNN/ORC snap poll of debate watchers found that 57 percent thought Clinton won the encounter, versus 34 percent for Trump.

The dollar rose 0.3 percent against the euro to $1.1163  and by 0.5 percent to 103.40 yen.

Earlier, Asian shares eked out minor gains. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.1 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Chinese shares racked up their biggest gains in two months as investors returned from a week-long holiday and caught up with gains on global markets.

(By Nigel Stephenson , Additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney, Patrick Graham and Sudip Kar-Guptya in London; Graphic by Mike Dolan; Editing by Toby Chopra, Reuters.com)