Donald Trump will soon become the 45th president of the United States, the world's largest economy. In the election on Tuesday (08/11) he defeated market favorite Hillary Clinton, being the first to obtain more than 270 (state-by-state) electoral votes. The world was stunned and therefore heavy movements occurred in global financial markets (that previously had priced in a Clinton win). Reportedly, Clinton has already conceded to Trump through a telephone call.
It was the second big shock this year after the so-called Brexit in June when voters in the United Kingdom decided to exit the European Union (in this case most pre-referendum polls or opinion polls were also not in tune with reality). This time, it was US voters' turn to reject the political establishment. A preliminary answer to the question why Clinton failed to win this race is that there exists a high degree of resentment in the USA toward the political status quo and globalization. Also in Europe these forces are growing (and respondents in opinion polls apparently do not represent the wider electorate).
Markets responded negatively. When during the later stages of the counting process it started to become apparent that Trump's lead was big enough, Asian markets were the first to respond to the news. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index plunged more than 2 percent, before recovering in the second trading session on Wednesday (09/11). At the end of the day Indonesian stocks were down 1.03 percent to 5,414.32 points.
The story of the Indonesian rupiah is similar. During the first half of the day, the currency depreciated around 1 percent against the US dollar. However, after noon it managed to limit losses. At the end of the day the rupiah had weakened 0.32 percent to IDR 13,127 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index). The US dollar, however, weakened significantly against other safe haven assets, such as the euro and yen.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Index is one of the biggest victims today. The index lost 5.36 percent, particularly those listed companies that export a large portion of their products to the USA were plagued by the selloff. Moreover, Japan's yen was one of the safe haven assets that was purchased by investors, putting additional pressure on Japan's (export-oriented) stocks.
The main reasons why markets are concerned seeing Trump entering the White House are uncertainty about US economic and political policies (including international trade, protectionism, climate change issues, and the West's nuclear deal with Iran to the war in Syria).
Meanwhile, in the USA stocks had climbed overnight on expectation of a Clinton victory. However, if we take a look at the S&P 500 index futures, we see a 5 percent plunge (hitting its so-called limit down levels, meaning trading is suspended until Wednesday).
It needs to be noted, however, that after the initial negative reaction in markets (selloff) there occurred some stabilization, likely a sign that markets do not really know how to digest this latest news from the USA. It could also be that markets are somewhat relieved after hearing a rather soft victory speech from Trump earlier today. In this speech he called for unity among the people of the USA, praised the fighting spirit of Hillary Clinton, and promised massive infrastructure development and a strong US economy. He also added that the US wants to be on good terms with other nations as long as these nations also want to be on good terms with the USA.
Also in Europe stocks plunged at the start of trading on Wednesday (09/11). Several hours later, however, European stocks pared declines.