Australian stocks dived as investors realised the US election result won’t be as clear cut as thought.
The ASX200 fell through the key 5200 point mark, kept going and crashed below 5100, as the local market quickly turned to red from the earlier green of anticipation of a clean win for Hillary Clinton.
The local market was having its worst day since the UK’s Brexit vote sent the ASX down down 3.17% in June.
At one stage the index was down 3.9% before clawing back lost ground.
At the close, the ASX200 was at 5,156.60, down 101.19 points or 1.92%. Market capitalisation fell by around $34 billion, according to CommSec.
The Australian dollar also took a hit after earlier reaching a six month high.
The market opened on a positive note until results started indicating a close contest between Democratic nominee Clinton and Trump.
The major banks and the big miners led the falls.
The ANZ closed down 2% to $26.47 and Westpac 1.95% to $29.66.
BHP fell 3.1% to close at $22.56 and Rio Tinto 1.94% to $53.73.
HSBC Global Research said: “The election is proving a closer contest than the opinion polls had implied. A risk-off scramble is evident as results go down to the wire.”
Analysts say a Trump win will extend the falls. “If by contrast, Clinton emerges as the victor then the relief rally should be sizable,” HSBC writes in a note to clients.
Rudi Filapek-Vandyck of Australian newswire FNArena commented via Twitter:
— Rudi Filapek-Vandyck (@Filapek) November 9, 2016
And others think of bargains:
— ASX STOCK SCAN (@XAU3000) November 9, 2016
The only place to hide was in a gold mine. Shares in these miners surged higher as investors bet on increased demand in troubled times for the precious metal.
Northern Star was up 10.4% to $4.64, Evolution 11.3% to $2.55 and Newcrest 9.7% to $25.35.
The price of gold jumped 3.2% or $US42.80 to $US1,320.00.