Asian markets tumble as US presidential race tightens


Asian stocks have tumbled after early results from the US presidential polls suggested a victory for Donald Trump looked more plausible.

All major markets in the region are now lower, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.

Meanwhile the Mexican Peso has hit an all-time low against the dollar.

As traders had expected a comfortable Hillary Clinton win, even a tight race is enough to spark volatility.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down by 2.2% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong is 3.5% lower and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.3%.

Australia’s ASX 200 dropped by 3.7% while the Kospi in South Korea is 2.8% lower.

Earlier, Wall Street and European markets closed higher – but are currently predicted to fall sharply when trading resumes.


Brexit echoes
The Mexican peso has seen some of the most notable fluctuations, swinging wildly against the dollar, falling more than 6% to stand at more than 20 pesos against the dollar.

The Mexican currency’s movements are seen by many in the market as a good indicator of the election’s likely outcome, with an upward movement suggesting Hillary Clinton is ahead.

Mexico is expected to suffer if Mr Trump was elected because of his pledges to build a wall along the US border with the country and renegotiate their trade agreement.

Meanwhile the Japanese yen is seen as a safe haven currency in situations of international volatility, so a strengthening yen suggests traders see a Hillary Clinton as less likely.

“2016 has been a year full of surprises. Don’t forget the markets priced in a Remain win in the Brexit referendum and got it wrong,” said Nigel Green, chief executive of deVere Group.

He warned a victory for Mr Trump could deliver a “double whammy negative impact” on global markets because they are expecting Mrs Clinton to win.

“Should she win, global financial markets will react favourably as she is seen to represent the status quo,

whereas Trump is much more of an unknown and therefore

will create uncertainty and the markets will react accordingly,” he said.