Dollar, Mexican peso, stocks sink as Trump edges ahead

Tue Nov 8, 2016 10:01pm EST
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By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar sank and stock markets slammed into reverse in wild Asian trade on Wednesday as every new exit poll in the U.S. presidential election showed the race to be a nail-biter, sending investors stampeding to safe-haven assets.

Much of the action was in currencies where the Mexican peso has become a touchstone for sentiment on the election as Republican Donald Trump's trade policies are seen as damaging to its export-heavy economy.

As of 0237 GMT, Trump appeared to be on track for 133 Electoral College seats to Clinton's 104. A tally of 270 is needed to win.

The neck-and-neck race caused the peso to gyrate wildly as results came in, especially from the key battleground state of Florida where Trump was holding a slim lead.

"It's Florida so far that's been the big drama of the morning in Asia. It's been swinging back and forth in projections at least 4-5 times," said Christopher Moltke-Leth, head of institutional client trading at Saxo Capital Markets.

"We've seen one of the most sensitive currencies, the MXN, has been extremely volatile this morning."

The dollar surged over 6 percent on the peso MXN=D2, though traders cautioned that it could turn on a dime.

But the story was very different against the safe-haven yen with the dollar shedding 2.4 percent to 102.72 yen JPY=. The euro EUR= gained 1 percent to $1.1130.   Continued...

A monitor (top) displaying the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar (top) and Japan's Nikkei average is seen in front of another monitor showing U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (R) on TV news, at a foreign exchange trading company in Tokyo, Japan, November 8, 2016.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai