Asian stocks tumbled across major markets as Republican candidate Donald Trump closed in on the White House after a series of shocking wins in battleground states. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton conceded the election to Trump early on Wednesday morning.
Sectors that depend heavily on global trade, including Asia’s car manufacturers and IT service providers, were heavily hit.
Defence and gold mining, however, bucked the trend. Gold soared as a safe haven play. Investors eyed defence stocks across the world as a US presidential administration looked set to increase military spending and ask other nations to shoulder a greater share of regional security expenses.
“By and large the fear is that if Donald Trump wins he will be protectionist in nature and impose tariffs,” said Nilesh Shetty, associate fund manager at Quantum Mutual Fund in Mumbai.
Following is a roundup of top Asian movers.
Defence stocks in South Korea soared on expectations of more defence spending by Seoul.
Shares in electronic weapons manufacturer Victek Co Ltd and military products maker Speco soared almost 30%.
Japan also saw a boost for smaller firms in the sector, with Ishikawa Seisaku, a manufacturer of land mines, up 14% and Howa Machinery, a machine maker that supplies rifles and mortars to Japan’s self-defence force, rising 12%.
Tokyo Keiki, among the top gainers and up almost 18%, makes navigation systems for military use.
Car manufacturers, who depend heavily on international trade, were the worst-hit sector, with Japan’s transport equipment maker index down 6.5%, underperforming a market battered by the stronger yen by about 2 percentage points.
Honda was down 7.8% and Toyota fell 6.5%.
Trump is opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asia-Pacific free trade zone and has threatened punitive trade barriers against China.
Chinese gold miners Zhongjin Gold Corp Ltd and Shandong Gold were up 10%, and Zijin Mining rose 6.5%, putting them among the top gainers on the Shanghai exchange, as gold prices had their biggest single-day gain since June 24.
Renewable energy stocks took a hit.
Clinton had vowed to reduce US oil consumption and generate more cleaner fuels, but Trump has said he wants to unleash a US “energy revolution” by streamlining environmental regulation and pulling the country out of a global pact to combat climate change.
Shares in South Korea’s Taewoong Co, which makes parts for wind power plants, tumbled 25%, while Hyunjin Material, a parts manufacturer for wind power plants, dived 20%.
Indian IT industry
India’s outsourcing industry, which depends heavily on the United States, and has already suffered from tougher immigration rules, was among the most heavily hit sectors.
In an Indian market battered by a shock measure to withdraw high value notes from circulation, Infosys Ltd was down 4% and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) dropped 5.3%, as investors bet Trump, who has emphasised border enforcement and other anti-immigration measures, could make it harder for them to operate.
‘Tump wins wisely’
Chinese software products manufacturer Wisesoft Co Ltd jumped 8% as some Chinese punters snapped up the Shenzhen-listed company mainly because its name reads similar to “Trump wins wisely,” in Chinese.