The US dollar was down 1.5 per cent on the safe haven yen at 103.63 yen after rallying earlier.
Rallying were safe haven assets with spot gold hitting an over one month high at US$1310.16 and the yen jumping 1 per cent.
By mid morning, most other Asian markets also lost their guarded gains in nervous, choppy trade. Hong Kong opened higher but quickly headed lower, losing 1.7 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite was clinging on to 0.1 per cent gain.
Tokyo’s Nikkei was trading up 0.5 per cent after going as going as high as 1.6 per cent. Sydney was down 0.6 per cent while Seoul was 0.8 per cent lower.
With voting completed in more than half of the 50 US states, the race was still too close to call in the key battleground states of Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia.
With Trump having rallied from a double-digit deficit in some polls to within striking distance of Clinton, analysts drew parallels with Britain’s shock EU exit vote.
“Volumes are eerily low in the local markets this morning, which means a lot of investors are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for further confirmation of the outcome of the US election,” Gary Huxtable, client adviser at Atlantic Pacific Securities, was quoted by AFP as saying in a note.
Investors view Clinton as safer hand on the wheel of the world’s biggest economy than the wildly unpredictable Trump.
Said Kevin Scully, executive chairman of research house NRA Capital: The market has been quite volatile for the last couple of weeks. Everyone has been aware of the uncertainty. If Trump comes in, it may be disruptive to the economy. Hillary Clinton is more predictable. If he comes in, the Fed may delay the rate hike which will provide liquidity to the market and soak up any knee-jerk reaction to the sell-off.”