SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares recovered and the Mexican peso surged on Tuesday as investors seemed to award the first U.S. presidential debate to Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump.
Markets have tended to see Clinton as the candidate of the status quo, while few are sure what a Trump presidency might mean for U.S. foreign policy, trade and the domestic economy.
Opinion polls have shown the two candidates in a very tight race, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points, with 41 percent of likely voters.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bounced to be up 0.2 percent, while South Korea and Shanghai inched higher.
Japan's Nikkei more than halved its losses and was down 0.4 percent by late morning, while the U.S. dollar edged up to 100.74 yen from a low of around 100.08.
EMini futures for the S&P 500 also recouped all its losses to trade 0.5 percent firmer.
"Markets started to call the debate for Hillary within the first 15 minutes or so, with the Mexican peso surging in what is probably its busiest Asian session in years," said Sean Callow, a senior currency analyst at Westpac in Sydney.
"The bounce in S&P futures, AUD and USD/JPY all show that investors were watching closely and didn't hesitate to declare Trump the loser."
The dollar sank 1.9 percent on the peso, lifting the peso from an all-time trough hit in recent days on concerns that a Trump presidency would threaten Mexico's exports to the United States, its single biggest market.
"There's a thing called 'Trump thermometer'," said David Bloom, London-based global head of forex strategy at HSBC.
"If you want to know who won the presidential debate, don't go to Twitter or Facebook. Just look at the dollar/Mexico peso."
Much the same goes for the Canadian dollar, which touched its lowest since March in early trade before rallying to $1.3203 on its U.S. counterpart.
Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was a fraction firmer at 96.360 and the euro was steady at $1.1242.
Other safe-havens also ebbed, with yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries rising a basis point to 1.60 percent.
In commodity markets, oil ran into a little profit-taking having bounced 3 percent on Monday as the world's largest producers gathered in Algeria to discuss ways to tackle a crude glut that has battered prices for two years now.
Brent crude slipped 20 cents to $47.13 a barrel, while U.S. crude dipped 13 cents to $45.80.
(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Kim Coghill)