Weak overseas action and renewed concerns about global banks should see local markets stumble at today’s opening. A spike in oil prices may see energy stocks offset some of the losses. However, the first of three US presidential candidate debates during today’s Asia Pacific trading session will likely dominate action as markets search for the winner and their eventual economic policy stance.

European bankers are once again threatening the global banking system. Italian’s oldest bank is in trouble, and German banks are substantial lenders. In a two plus two equals seventeen moment, investors sold Deutsche Bank shares to a record low on reports the German government would not support the bank in the event of a crisis. The absence of an actual crisis did not diminish the panic.

Markets are searching for the least worse option between the two US candidates. One is a known market bad, the other an unknown bad. Any ramping up of populist rhetoric would likely rattle investors. Any perception that the outsider candidate won the debate could bring a market rout.