Asian shares tumbled to seven-week lows and the dollar lost ground against the yen and the euro on Wednesday as investors were rattled by signs the U.S. presidential election race was tightening just days out to the November 8 vote.
Markets were beginning to rethink their long-held bets of a victory for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton amid signs her Republican rival Donald Trump could be closing the gap, forcing money out of riskier assets and into safe-havens such as the Swiss franc and gold.
Spread-betters see the risk-off mood denting major European share indexes, with Britain’s FTSE. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC tipped to fall 0.5 to 0.8 percent.
Heavy selling also knocked the Mexican peso, seen as the most vulnerable to a Trump presidency due to his pledge to build a wall along the U.S. border with its neighbour to prevent entry of illegal immigrants, and other proposals including slapping tariffs on Mexican imports.
The peso, which posted its biggest fall in two months on Tuesday, extended losses to 19.380 to the dollar, its lowest level since early October.
Investor anxiety has deepened in recent sessions over a possible Trump victory given uncertainty on the Republican candidate’s stance on key issues including foreign policy, trade relations and immigrants, while Clinton is viewed as a candidate of the status quo.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan. MIAPJ0000PUS dropped 1.3 percent to seven-week lows while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 fell 1.8 percent. U.S. stock futures ESc1 shed 0.4 percent in Asia, edging near four-month low touched on Tuesday.
The tumultuous presidential race appeared to tighten after news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was reviewing more emails as part of a probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server.