Stock markets around the world are sinking and the Mexican currency and U.S. stock futures are plunging as the American presidential election results shock investors around the world.
Donald Trump is taking significant steps toward the White House.
Dow futures have plummeted 800 points, or 4.4%. That puts the U.S. market on track for its biggest percentage decline since August 2011 when they plunged 5.5%.
Stock indexes across Asia were also deep in the red. Japan’s Nikkei plummeted 5.5% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped around 3%.
Markets hate uncertainty — and many investors believe Trump’s unpredictable nature and anti-trade stance could bring lots of global turmoil if he wins the presidency.
“Shock and awe would aptly describe movements of global markets right now,” said Matt Simpson, a senior markets analyst at ThinkMarkets.
Stock futures really began tumbling after 9 p.m. ET as it became clear that Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning crucial states such as Florida, North Carolina and Ohio was in serious doubt. She would later lose all three to Trump.
“It is looking like another Brexit-type surprise,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial. “The fear of uncertainty is taking fold, as the potential for a Trump victory has many taking a sell first and ask questions later approach.”
By comparison, the Dow fell 610 points, or 3.4% on June 24 after the shocking Brexit vote to leave the European Union.
While Wall Street is on track for dramatic post-election losses, they are not nearly as bad on a percentage basis as those experienced during the 2008 financial crisis when several plunges of greater than 6% occurred.
The Mexican peso has plunged more than 11% to an all-time low, after seesawing violently all evening as Trump started pulling ahead in key battleground states. The Mexican currency is on track for its worst day since 1994.
Trump’s anti-Mexico rhetoric has affected the value of the peso for weeks. Trump has talked about renegotiating or even ending NAFTA, the free trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
“The Mexican economy is most tied to Donald Trump’s criticism of global trade. It really is ground zero of this discussion economically,” said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at brokerage firm ConvergEx. “Regardless of how things shake out in an hour or two, this is a surprise — a big surprise.”
Investors turned to assets that are seen as safer bets in times of uncertainty. Gold surged 4.5% and the Japanese yen soared more than 3% against the dollar.
Crude oil also took a big hit as cash flees risky assets. Oil prices were down nearly 4% to $44 a barrel.