Global currencies and stock markets plummeted Wednesday as investors reacted to Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were down over 2 percent at 3:30 a.m. EST, and trading in futures on the S&P 500 was briefly halted after tumbling 5 percent, which triggered a circuit breaker. The U.S. dollar also weakened against safe-haven currencies such as the Japanese yen.
“There’s a lot of panic in the market, it is definitely an outcome it was not expecting,” Juan Carlos Alderete, a strategist at the Mexican financial services company Banorte-IXE, told the Guardian. “The movements are very strong, the market is showing higher risk aversion in search of safe-haven assets.”
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down nearly 5.4 percent, South Korea’s Kospi Composite index plunged almost 2.3 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.6 percent, while India’s S&P BSE Sensex was trading down 1.1 percent with an hour of trading remaining.
Meanwhile, in Europe, all markets opened in the red Wednesday. The pan-European STOXX 600 opened down 2 percent, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 plunged 2 percent, while Germany’s DAX fell over 2.1 percent.
“President Trump said his election would be bigger than Brexit — and as far as financial markets are concerned, that is already true,” Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets in the U.K., told Sky News. “Since the U.S. is the world's largest economy and the U.S. dollar is the world's reserve currency, it still holds true that when the U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.”
Currencies across the globe also witnessed high volatility both through the night and early on Wednesday. The Mexican peso, in particular, was hit hard, dropping to record lows against both the dollar and the euro, as panicked investors worried about the impact a Trump presidency would have on the Mexican economy. At one point, the peso dropped 13 percent against the dollar, falling below 20 per dollar, before paring its losses and trading at 20 at 2:58 a.m. EST.
“A lot of Trump's negative geopolitical rhetoric was concentrated around Mexico and trade with Mexico and tearing up the NAFTA agreement, so the peso just become this natural barometer of the election,” Deutsche Bank strategist Gautam Kalani told Reuters.
Also impacted were the prices of government bonds and gold — long considered safe-haven assets. The 10-year U.S. treasury yields were down 0.016 percent at 3:40 a.m. EST, while gold prices surged 4 percent to $1,316 an ounce Tuesday night — the biggest single-day rally in the price of the commodity since Brexit.