Global stocks barely budged on Friday as investors tightened positions with less than two weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election and awaited a breakthrough in stimulus talks in Washington.

The final debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democrat challenger Joe Biden on Thursday presented few surprises for election watchers but slightly reinforced investor caution heading into the Nov. 3 poll.

U.S. S&P 500 futures had dipped slightly after the debate but were mostly flat by late Asian trade. The underlying index had gained about 0.5% in the previous day on hopes that the U.S. Congress and the White House could soon strike a deal on another round of COVID-19 stimulus.

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