By Chuck Mikolajczak
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Global equity markets climbed and the Mexican peso rallied on Tuesday as investors leaned toward the potential victory of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election.Markets turned higher after treading water for the early portion of the session, although U.S. equities retreated from their session highs.While the dollar strengthened slightly against a basket of currencies, the Mexican peso shot to a two-month high versus the greenback.The Mexican currency has been a market proxy for sentiment over the U.S. election and has performed in inverse correlation with Republican candidate Donald Trump's perceived chances of winning the White House. The iShares MSCI Mexico ETF, touched its highest level since mid-August and was last up 2.2 percent. Mexico is considered most vulnerable to Trump's planned trade policies as 80 percent of its exports go to the United States.Market participants cited projections from data firm Votecastr, which showed Clinton in the lead in several battleground states.
"The Votecastr thing is absolutely helping the market move higher," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group. "Investors will take whatever data they can get, although I really don’t know how accurate the data is."The market has been pricing in a win for Clinton, including a 2 percent jump in the S&P 500 on Monday after the FBI maintained its view that no criminal charges were warranted in a probe over her email practices. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 70.29 points, or 0.38 percent, to 18,329.89, the S&P 500 gained 6.1 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,137.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.03 points, or 0.39 percent, to 5,186.20.
Safety play gold weakened, down 0.3 percent to $1,276.65 an ounce and yields on U.S. Treasuries touched a one-week high.At the end of a bruising election campaign, the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll gave Clinton a 90 percent chance of defeating Trump and said she was on track to win 303 Electoral College votes out of 270 needed, to Trump's 235. Europe's index of 300 leading shares, which posted its biggest gain in two months on Monday, closed 0.3 percent higher. MSCI's all-country world index was up 0.4 percent after notching its best day since late June on Monday.
Clinton, generally seen as a known quantity, has been the preferred candidate for investors over political wild card Trump. But markets remained wary, noting Britain's shock vote in June to leave the European Union had caught investors and pollsters off guard."I’d be a little hesitant to waive the all clear signal at this point," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell 11/32 in price to yield 1.8672 percent after touching a high of 1.876 percent, up from Monday's 1.828 percent. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Dan Grebler and James Dalgleish)
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