The US dollar sank and stock markets slammed into reverse in wild Asian trade on Wednesday as every new exit poll in the US presidential election showed the race to be a nail-biter, sending investors stampeding to safe-haven assets.
Much of the action was in currencies where the Mexican peso has become a touchstone for sentiment on the election as Republican Donald Trump’s trade policies are seen as damaging to its export-heavy economy. A tally of 270 is needed to win.
“It’s Florida so far that’s been the big drama of the morning in Asia. It’s been swinging back and forth in projections at least 4-5 times,” said Christopher Moltke-Leth, head of institutional client trading at Saxo Capital Markets.
“We’ve seen one of the most sensitive currencies, the MXN, has been extremely volatile this morning.”
The dollar surged over 6 per cent on the peso.
Indian markets are likely to open sharply in the red with the focus also likely today on the government’s decision to discontinue Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
The Nifty futures trading on Singapore exchange was down over 3 per cent, indicating a sharply lower opening for Indian markets when they open for trading at 9:15 am.
But the story was very different against the safe-haven yen with the dollar shedding 2.4 percent to 102.72 yen. The euro gained 1 per cent to $1.1130.
Asian stocks first rose only to retreat more than 1 per cent as the session wore on and more election results flooded in, while US stock futures surrendered modest gains and recoiled more than 3 per cent.
Trump held slight leads in the vital battleground states of Florida, Virginia and Ohio, clinging to a narrow advantage over Democrat Hillary Clinton in key states that could decide their race for the White House.