Wednesday 04:15 BST. Asian markets struggled to hold on to gains from Monday’s US presidential debate with equities faltering despite a positive performance by US stocks overnight.

Bourses across the region were broadly down. Japan’s Topix index lost 1.5 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 dipped 1.4 per cent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 surrendered early gains to be 0.1 per cent lower, with the energy sector the worst performer as stocks reacted to a 2.9 per cent slide in the oil price overnight.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.8 per cent. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 per cent, while the tech-focused Shenzhen Composite was down 0.1 per cent as was the CSI 300 index that tracks the largest mainland-listed stocks by market capitalisation.

Oil markets clawed back some of their overnight losses following reports that Saudi Arabia was considering a compromise with Iran on an agreement to freeze output.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 0.4 per cent at $46.14 in Asia while West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, was only marginally higher at $44.68.

The Canadian dollar, which received a boost from perceptions that Hillary Clinton had clinched the first US presidential debate against Donald Trump, weakened 0.2 per cent to $0.7562 against its US counterpart. The Mexican peso, which also strengthened after the debate, was 0.2 per cent weaker at 19.4296 per dollar.

The US dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of major global currencies, rose 0.1 per cent to 95.564.

Gold, which often moves inversely to the dollar, was down 0.1 per cent at $1,325.48 an ounce — on track for a second day of losses after snapping a six-day winning streak sustained by expectations that the US Federal Reserve would limit interest rate cuts in 2017.

The Japanese yen strengthened initially only to backpedal later to stand at ¥‎100.6 against the dollar, weaker by 0.2 per cent. The Australian dollar was little moved at $0.7672 per greenback.

Fixed income markets were likewise subdued, with the yield (which moves inversely to price) on 10-year Japanese government bonds falling 1.2 basis points to minus 0.086 per cent. The yield on the Australian equivalent was down 2.2 basis points at 1.951 per cent. The benchmark 10-year US note meanwhile pared initial gains and was up marginally at 1.5616 per cent.

Futures tip the S&P 500 to fall 0.2 per cent. The index ended Tuesday up 0.6 per cent despite the earlier steep falls in oil prices.

European stocks lost 0.2 per cent overnight, although Deutsche Bank shares recovered from a 3.5 per cent drop to close unchanged, in spite of concerns about the German bank’s capital position.

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