Gold surged nearly five per cent in its biggest rally since June and oil fell to multi-month lows on Wednesday as Republican Donald Trump scored shock wins to head the race for the White House, leading investors to flee risky assets.
Base metals and grains also retreated along with equities and the US dollar as investors anticipated global uncertainty if Trump takes the helm of the world´s biggest economy when many had been counting on a win by Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
The selloff in risky assets was reminiscent of the market turmoil in June when Britain voted to exit the European Union which pushed gold up more than eight per cent at one stage as investors chased safe havens.
“This is deja vu of the Brexit moment, very worrying,” said Bob Takai, president at Sumitomo Corp Global Research in Tokyo.
Trump edged closer to winning the White House with a series of wins in battleground states such as Florida and Ohio, rattling world markets.
Mexico’s peso plunged to its lowest-ever level.
Spot gold rose as much as 4.9 percent to $1,337.40 an ounce, its strongest since September 27 By 0610 GMT, it was up 3.7 percent at $1,322.60.
A Trump win may push the US Federal Reserve to hold off from raising interest rates next month, further burnishing gold´s appeal, analysts say.
“The market turbulence that a Trump victory looks likely to bring will deter the Fed from hiking next month,” said Craig Erlam, an analyst at Oanda.
Brent, crude oil fell as far as $44.40 a barrel, its lowest since August 11, and was last down 2.2 per cent at $45.02 US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 2.5 per cent at $43.84, after earlier hitting $43.07, its weakest since September 20.
If Trump wins “the threat of growth forecasts being downgraded at least over the short-term due to investor uncertainty, in theory, weakens demand for commodities like oil,” said Jameel Ahmad, vice president of market research at the trading platform and research firm FXTM.
Copper on the London Metal Exchange also fell, along with other base metals, but losses were more modest.
Copper slipped 0.2 percent to $5,226 a tonne, not far below Tuesday’s one-year high of $5,250.50. Wheat, corn and soybeans each fell more than 1 percent.
In China, futures for steel and its raw materials bucked the decline in overseas markets, helped by a sustained rally in coal prices amid a shortage of the fuel.
Iron ore and coking coal climbed six per cent and steel jumped five percent.