Stock prices across the Asia Pacific region fell Wednesday, showing signs investors are becoming increasingly worried about a Donald Trump presidency as the Republican nominee’s poll numbers trend upwards.
Shares in Hong Kong ended on a two-month low Wednesday. China’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.5 percent, while the China Enterprises Index lost almost two percent on news that Clinton, seen by many as representing the status quo, is losing her lead to Trump, who is seen as more of a wild card due to his trade and immigration policy proposals.
In Tokyo stocks were down 1.8 percent, Australia’s benchmark ASX/S&P 200, was down around 1.5 percent, and South Korean markets were down 1.3 percent.
If elected, Trump has promised to label China as a currency manipulator and threatened to impose tariffs of up to 45 percent on Chinese goods imported into the United States.
After weeks of holding a substantial lead over Trump, news the FBI is revisiting its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server has led to the tighter race.
The latest polls of likely voters show the race between Clinton and Trump is too close to call when the two main third-party candidates, Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, are among the choices given to respondents.
The ABC News/Washington Post daily tracking poll showed Clinton with a 12-point lead heading into October 24. By Wednesday, Trump was up by one point. A similar daily tracking poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times showed Clinton leading Trump by two points going into October 24, but the same poll on Wednesday showed Trump with a 5.4 point advantage.
Trump still faces a steep challenge when looking at projections for the Electoral College tally. And that, not the popular vote, will determine who becomes president.
The election forecasting site FiveThirtyEight.com still puts Clinton’s chance of winning the election at just over 70 percent, compared to Trump’s roughly 30 percent. That’s due to Clinton’s significant lead in most of the so-called swing states - those which historically aren’t most often won by a single party. Trump must do much better than current polling suggests he will next week in order to win the presidency.