Global financial markets plummeted Tuesday night as early voting results showed Donald Trump unexpectedly ahead in the race for the White House.
On Wall Street, all three major stock index futures sank more than 3 percent. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slid more than 600 points, or over 3 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index sank 88 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped nearly 200 points.
The uncertainty over the outcome of one of the most contentious presidential elections in modern history rattled investors around the world. Japan’s Nikkei index plunged 382 points, or more than 2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 846 points, or 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, the Mexican peso -- which has fallen when the Republican nominee rose in the polls during his campaign -- nosedived to an eight-year low, according to Bloomberg.
“It’s all a little bit crazy now,” said Chris Weston, chief markets strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne. “Pollsters need to go away and have a holiday – every single one of them should be fired. Markets weren’t prepared for this.”
Trump has pledged to pull out of long-standing trade agreements if elected and slap double-digit tariffs on goods from Mexico and China. His message of isolationism has resonated with voters who feel left behind in an increasingly connected global economy, but many experts have warned his proposals could wreck havoc on the U.S. recovery -- and potentially even throw the country into recession.
“Trump has not held any public office before and lacks experience of making currency and fiscal policies. He also has extreme views,” said Yang Delong, chief economist at First Seafront Fund in Shenzhen. “All these will be viewed by the investors as huge uncertainty. That’s why the markets are down and the gold price are going up.”
In China, the Communist Party’s China Daily newspaper said that whoever wins, democracy would be the loser in the United States, saying the race was viewed as a “chaotic political farce” in many people’s eyes.
Staff writers Simon Denyer, Congcong Zhang, Luna Lin and Jin Xin in Beijing and Griff Witte in London contributed to this report.