'Brexit all over again' as the Australian dollar falls and markets dive

Investors and currency speculators are reacting swiftly to the prospect of a Trump presidency.

Specialist Thomas McArdle, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Stocks are opening modestly lower on Wall Street as the market extends a pre-election losing streak. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks and currencies are loosing recent gains as stronger than expected rusults for trump flow in. Source: AP

As Donald Trump claimed victory in the US election, global markets wasted no time in delivering their verdict on selection by American voters.

The US dollar sank in cross-rates around the world and markets plummetted amid fears of a global trade-war and far-reaching instability. 


America's markets had closed for the day by the time Trump's momentum became apparent, leaving Australia to feel the brunt of investor panic.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed at a four-month low, the dollar dropping 1.5%.  

More than $35 billion was wiped from the value of Australian shares and the Aussie dollars fall came even as the greenback fell against the euro and the yen.

Gains made in recent days as Clinton's chances had improved have been wiped out.

The Australian economy is expected to take a big hit as a result of Trump's announced policies, with market-watchers worried about  a looming trade war if Trump pursues the 

If the selling is maintained, the market will take a bigger hit than the 3.2 per cent plunge recorded in June when the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Patersons Securities economist Tony Farnham said the local market was taking significant hits as voting results from various US states trickle in.

"At this stage, the market is seeing Trump doing a lot better than what a lot of people out there were expecting, and as result the market has been sold off," he said.

All sectors of the market are being hit by selling, except for gold miners, as the price of safe-haven precious metal rises.

A win for Mr Trump "could be" Brexit all over again, Farnham said.

The Mexican Peso, which has been highly responsive to Clinton's fortunes, has also seen a sudden crash.

It's now sitting at a record low against the dollar, with 1 USD at one point being worth more than 20 pesos for the first time in history.

Safe-haven assets have rallied as investors run for cover, with the yen and gold rushing higher.

The euro rose one percent against the dollar, while gold soared 1.6 percent to $1,305.

Oil prices plunged, with WTI sinking 3.3 percent and Brent 2.8 percent lower.

The rout continued across Asia with Japan's Nikkei index down 5.4 per cent and Hong Kong dropping three per cent.

Uncertain Future

Uncertainty is likely to be the tone of global markets in coming days.

ANZ Bank researchers said the market volatility "clearly reflects enormous uncertainty".

"Simply, perceptions of heightened US economic nationalism are omnipresent," ANZ said.

Markets are also dealing with the uncertainty created by Mr Trump's inexperience in public office, his foreign policies and the budgetary impact of his tax policies.

Foreign exchange traders at RBC Capital Markets said the flight from risk in currency markets is likely to continue until Mr Trump's intentions as president become clear.

"Trump has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, so the next cue for investors will come from his acceptance speech and policy plans," RBC said.

"Longer-term, this is a big jump into policy uncertainty but it seems likely to lead to rising protectionism. That would favour countries with stronger domestic demand and hurt small open economies."

CommSec economist Craig James said a more isolationist America - a central Trump policy - would be negative for the global economy and especially trade-reliant nations such as Australia.

"If the US adopted a more confrontationist policy toward China, then this would place downward pressure on the Aussie dollar," Mr James said, noting a weaker Australian currency would help exporters.

4 min read
Published 9 November 2016 at 2:02pm
By Ben Winsor
Source: AFP