1. Australia shares edge up on Clinton lead in presidential debate; New Zealand flat

Australia shares edge up on Clinton lead in presidential debate; New Zealand flat

Australian shares ended marginally higher on Thursday with polls showing a tilt in momentum away from Donald Trump after the final U.S. presidential debate.

By: | Published: October 20, 2016 12:33 PM
"Never in the history of the U.S. has a candidate faced such a deficit in the polls as Trump currently holds, with at least two well-known sites (that model the probability of the outcome) putting an 85-90 percent chance of a Clinton win," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, wrote in a note. (Reuters) “Never in the history of the U.S. has a candidate faced such a deficit in the polls as Trump currently holds, with at least two well-known sites (that model the probability of the outcome) putting an 85-90 percent chance of a Clinton win,” Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, wrote in a note. (Reuters)

Australian shares ended marginally higher on Thursday with polls showing a tilt in momentum away from Donald Trump after the final U.S. presidential debate.

According to a CNN snap poll, 52 percent thought Clinton won the debate while 39 percent said Trump was the victor.

“Never in the history of the U.S. has a candidate faced such a deficit in the polls as Trump currently holds, with at least two well-known sites (that model the probability of the outcome) putting an 85-90 percent chance of a Clinton win,” Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, wrote in a note.

The S&P/ASX 200 index inched up 0.1 pct to close at 5442.1 pts.

Financials and consumer cyclicals declined while basic materials and industrials gained.

BHP Billiton Ltd ended 1.7 pct higher after recording its biggest intraday percentage gain in three weeks, while Westpac Banking Corp ended down 0.6 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index recouped some losses in early trading to end flat at 6,973.78, a more than three-month low.

Gains in telecom stocks and industrials was offset by losses in financials and utilities.

Trade Me Group Ltd, the worst performer on the index, recorded its biggest intraday percentage loss in more than two years to end at a three-month low.

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