While most Asian stock market indices were trading higher on Thursday (20 October), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.06% at 3,083.01 as of 6.51am GMT. This followed the final US presidential debate ending overnight in Hillary Clinton's favour.

On Wednesday (19 October), presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton turned out for a final battle before the 8 November election. The Republican and Democrat representatives discussed key issues while attempting to avoid the scandals that have plagued their campaigns, including the sexual assault allegations lobbied against Trump and the WikiLeaks release of emails from Clinton's campaign director.

Trump tried to reverse the election momentum in his favour but is said to have failed. Polls continued to show a higher chance of victory for Clinton in the final elections. This is said to have boosted confidence among investors.

"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. But as 2016 has shown us, not just in politics, but in markets too, it can often pay to expect the unexpected," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Asian markets are said to have also got a boost from strong US earnings and an increase in oil prices overnight. The latter is said to have touched a near a 15-month high.

Indices in the region were trading as follows at 7.04am GMT:

CountryIndexPriceUp/Down%Change
Hong KongHang Seng Index23,407.81Up0.44%
JapanNikkei 22517,235.50Up1.39%
South KoreaKOSPI2,040.60Down0.02%
IndiaCNX Nifty8,696.30Up0.43%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,442.10Up0.12%

Overnight (19 October), the FTSE 100 closed 0.31% higher at 7,021.92, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.22% at 18,202.62.

Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the red. While WTI crude oil was trading lower by 0.64% at $51.27 (£41.74) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.47% lower at $52.42 a barrel as of 7.07am GMT.