MEXICO CITY -- Stocks shot to a record high in heavy trading on the Mexican Stock Exchange yesterday as the market proclaimed U.S. Vice President Al Gore the victor in the free trade debate Tuesday night.
The outcome of the debate -- in which Mr. Gore repeatedly put Mr. Perot on the defensive and likened him to tariff-raisers who many blame for deepening the Great Depression in the 1930s -- was seen as a positive for chances of U.S. passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Buying was led by foreign investors, who concentrated on Mexican American depositary shares in New York.
The Mexican market's key IPC index booked its largest single-session gain in more than a year, up 81.49 points, to 2,035.33, a gain of 4.17 percent. That eclipsed the old market record of 2,029.06, established Oct. 26.
Volume totaled a busy 1.80 billion new pesos, on 160 million shares traded.
In addition, traders said positive news Tuesday night that Mexico's inflation in October rose only 0.4 percent, to 9.14 percent for the past 12 months, also encouraged buying. A return to stability in the foreign exchange markets also affected buying.