Business

Trump victory unsettles markets

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UK stocks have followed falls in Asian and European markets after Donald Trump won the US election.

The FTSE 100 index was down about 0.5% to 6,812 in the first hour, although that was less steep than expected.
Other major European stock markets are also lower, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.
Traders had expected Hillary Clinton to beat Mr Trump to become the next US president.
Some analysts have likened the shock of a Trump victory to the Brexit result earlier this year.
However, neither markets nor currencies have swung as wildly as they did after June’s EU referendum.
 
The main fallers on the FTSE so far have been asset managers, banks and life insurance companies, while pharmaceutical firms, gold and mining companies are the biggest winners.
US stock futures fell sharply overnight as Mr Trump’s lead became clear, although the Dow Jones index is now expected to lose 2% – about 400 points when it reopens – compared to earlier predictions of a 4% fall.
Many Asian markets saw losses narrow towards the end of Wednesday trading. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down by 5.4%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong is trading 2.2% lower and the Shanghai Composite has lost 0.6%.


Donald Trump victory party
AFP

Analysis: Dominic O’Connell, Today business presenter

Overnight, the FTSE 100 futures contract indicated the British market would slump – down 4%, was the call.
In the end, the indicators were wrong. Early on, the FTSE 100 fell 1.4% but recovered to be down just 0.5% after the first hour’s trading.
It was a far cry from the sharp fall the day after the Brexit vote, and mild after the heavy sell-off on Asian markets overnight.
Why are traders so sanguine? Part of the explanation may be an attempt to second-guess what happened after the European referendum.
Then, markets recovered all their lost ground in six weeks, and the FTSE 100 eventually went to an all time-high. Once bitten, twice shy.
Investors were also trying to pick winners from the Trump victory. Gold and other commodities were up, while shares that might suffer from trade wars were down.
In the end, though, the most likely explanation for the market’s relative calm is confusion.
The markets know as little about a Trump presidency as anyone else, and trying to seek a safe haven when no-one quite knows the direction of the world’s largest economy is tricky. Better to sit on your hands and see what happens.


Kathleen Brooks, an analyst at City Index, said markets were calming down after the initial shock. “This suggests that a win for President Trump is not yet America’s Brexit moment. US Treasuries have reversed earlier gains, and yields are rising.”
Other European stock markets have also pared some of their losses, with France’s Cac index and Germany’s Dax each down nearly 1% after heavier falls at the start of trading.

Dollar volatility

The pound has strengthened against the dollar, rising 0.3% to go back above $1.24, while the euro is 0.4% higher against the US currency.
The Japanese yen, viewed as a safe haven currency in situations of international volatility, strengthened by 2% against the dollar.

Trader in Fanfkurt
GETTY IMAGES

US investor Jim Rogers – who bet against the US stock market, believing Donald Trump would win – said US assets were taking a hit because of concerns about Mr Trump ‘s foreign policy.
“Just about everything will go down,” he told the BBC’s Today programme. “If he wins, it’s going to rattle people because he talks about trade wars.”
Meanwhile, concerns about the impact of a Trump presidency on the Mexican economy saw its currency, the peso, fall more than 13% against the dollar to its lowest level in two decades.
Mexico is expected to suffer if Mr Trump is elected, because of his pledges to build a wall along the US border with the country and renegotiate the two nations’ trade agreement.

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