European stocks opened cautiously on Wednesday morning as investors woke to the aftermath of the first US presidential debate between incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, which was marked by rancorous exchanges.
The French CAC 40 and German DAX were both down 0.2% in early trading, while the FTSE 100 inched up 0.1%.
US futures dipped in the hours following the debate, with S&P 500 futures falling as much as 1.3% before settling at 0.7% down on Wednesday morning. Dow Jones futures and Nasdaq futures were both trading 0.8% lower.
Bitcoin was also trading 2% down on Wednesday morning. The value of the dollar held steady.
With a little over a month to go before 3 November, investors are paying close attention to the US election, the outcome of which will shape the future of the world’s largest economy for years.
A contested presidential election is currently the number one concern for global investors, according to a poll from deVere Group. 72% of respondents described a contested US election as their “biggest investment worry for the rest of 2020”, with 18% fearing a COVID-19 second wave and 5% fearing a US-China trade war. The remaining 5% described other geopolitical issues, including Brexit.
“Investors around the world are beginning to freak about the US presidential election,” deVere Group CEO and founder Nigel Green commented, noting that the possibility of a disputed outcome sparked greater fears than a Biden or Trump victory.
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