The Australian stock market has dived on the news of the surprising US election result, with Donald Trump becoming the next president of the United States.
$35 billion was wiped off the value of Australian shares over the course of Wednesday trading as election results came in showing a better than expected result for the Republican presidential candidate.
With final votes still being counted, it was clear that Donald Trump would cross the 270 electoral college threshold needed to claim victory. Hillary Clinton reportedly called her rival to concede defeat in the early hours of Wednesday morning (US time).
Throughout a tumultuous campaign, polls had swung wildly with the gyrations of the news cycle and the various scandals. However, they had always broadly favoured Clinton and all respected poll aggregates predicted a win for the Democrat with a high degree of certainty going into election day.
As results came in on Tuesday night (US time) though, it became apparent that the polls had it wrong. Particularly in the key swing state of Florida, Trump opened up an early lead. With other swing states such as Ohio and Noth Carolina also reporting leads for Trump, the markets reacted.
After first gaining 1% in morning trade, the Australian S&P/ASX index closed the day 1.9% lower.
Across Asia, the Nikkie was down around 5% and the Hang Seng by 3% in afternoon trading.
In the currency markets, the Australian dollar fell against both the US dollar and British pound amid the turmoil. (See lates rates, here)
As well as the short term uncertainty created by the unexpected result, fear for the long-term prospects for the global economy have been stoked by Donald Trump’s anti free trade rhetoric in his campaign.
All eyes will now be on the US Dow Jones opening, in what increasingly appears to be Trump’s America.