MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, .MIAPJ0000PUS, was barely in the black. Photo: Reuters / Yuya Shino

The Mexican peso climbed and US stock futures crept higher on Monday as markets saw less chance of a victory by Republican nominee Donald Trump in his presidential bid amid a scandal over comments he made about women.

A holiday in Tokyo limited the early reaction in equities and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, .MIAPJ0000PUS, was barely in the black.

EMini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 rose 0.2 percent, as did Australian stocks, while Shanghai’s .SSEC firmed 1.2 percent as markets there returned from a long holiday.

Going the other way, Thailand stocks fell 2.5 percent after the palace said in a statement that 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s health was in an unstable condition.

Trump faces the biggest crisis of his 16-month-old campaign after a tape of him making vulgar comments about women deepened fissures with establishment Republicans.

A second debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton came and went with little immediate impact on investor thinking.

Presidential betting markets had lengthened the odds on a Trump victory, while the FiveThirtyEight site of well-regarded forecaster Nate Silver put the probability of a Clinton win at over 81 percent.

Markets generally see Clinton as a known factor with middle of the road policies. There is far more uncertainty about what a Trump administration would mean for US foreign policy, trade, the economy and even governance at the Federal Reserve.

In particular, Trump’s plans to slap tariffs on imports and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are seen as very negative for Mexico and Canada, which is why their currencies swing when his odds of winning change.

Both currencies gained on Monday, with the U.S. dollar down 1.4 percent on the Mexican peso at 19.06 MXN=D4 and off 0.3 percent on its Canadian counterpart CAD=D4.

The dollar dipped a touch on the yen to 102.87 JPY=, while the euro was little moved at $1.1194 EUR=.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.