Most Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Friday (4 November) with the Shanghai Composite down 0.24% at 3,121.34 as of 6.44am GMT. This bearish trend in the markets was amid growing uncertainty over who would win the US presidential elections that is scheduled on 8 November.
Earlier polls suggested that Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton had a huge lead over Republican Donald Trump. However, after recent comments from the FBI where it said it was set to review more emails related to Clinton, the lead is said to have declined.
Norihiro Fujito, a senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said that while the majority of the people were expecting Clinton to win, the final outcome could be different just like the EU referendum vote. "Even if opinion polls show that Clinton is maintaining a lead, anything can happen at the last minute, something the Brexit outcome taught us," Fujito said.
Investors are said to fear that a win for Trump, could put at risk global trade and growth. This is amid his campaign promises to curb immigration, rethink trade relations and put higher tariffs on imported goods.
Commenting on the same, Ric Spooner at CMC Markets was cited by Reuters as saying, "There remains scope for a significant sell-off if Trump wins... Markets are currently attempting to strike the right balance between the greater probability of a Clinton win and the possibility of a significant sell-off on a Trump victory.
"The more the market falls in advance of the election, the greater the potential for volatility and a significant bounce if Clinton does get up."
Indices in the region were trading as follows at 7.01am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,695.12||Up||0.05%|
Overnight (3 November), the FTSE 100 closed 0.80% lower at 6,790.51, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower by 0.16% at 17,930.67.
Among commodities, oil prices were trading in the green. While WTI crude oil was trading higher by 0.25% at $44.77 (£35.91) a barrel, Brent crude was 0.24% higher at $46.46 a barrel as of 7.07am GMT.