HONG KONG — Share benchmarks are tumbling across Asia after Donald Trump gained the lead in electoral votes, with 123 to Hillary Clinton’s 97 as of 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT). Markets had opened solidly higher but quickly shed those gains, reflecting investor concern over what a Trump presidency might mean for the economy and trade.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 2.4 percent to 16,777.85 as the U.S. dollar sank against the Japanese yen, a trend that would be unfavorable to exporters. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng plunged 1.7 percent to 22,514.70.
South Korea’s Kospi index fell 1.4 percent to 1,976.49 and Australia’s S&P ASX/200 lost 1.2 percent to 5,196.70.
Earlier, investors had appeared convinced that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency. Clinton is viewed as a more stable option who might maintain current policies.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar was trading at 102.60 yen down from a high earlier in the session of 105.46. The euro was at USD $1.1142, up from its previous close of USD $1.1020.