Reuters - Asia share indexes were up, down and all-around Wednesday and S&P futures wobbled as results from the U.S. presidential election showed no clear winner in sight.
Market participants had initially thought a possible Democratic sweep by Joe Biden might ease political risk while promising a boost to fiscal stimulus - hitting the safe-haven dollar and bonds.
But the mood changed overnight on signs U.S. President Donald Trump might snatch Florida and was much closer in other swing states than polls had predicted.
"In typical election risk-driven fashion it's been the stairs up and express elevator down as early results, especially out of Florida, are pointing away from the quick Biden outcome markets were looking for," Axi Chief Global Markets Strategist Stephen Innes said. "Markets have taken a step back from the Democratic sweep scenario."
Instead, participants are now hedging against the risk of a contested election or at least a drawn-out process as mail-in ballots were counted.
That saw 10-year Treasury yields fall to 0.80% from a five-month top of 0.93%. The fall of 7 basis points on the day was the largest since mid-May.
E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 veered between negative and positive and were last up 0.36%. Eurostoxx 50 futures lost 0.5% and FTSE futures 0.8%.
Japan's Nikkei was still ahead by 1.4%, but MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.6%.
"It's a wait-and-see," said Matt Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual in Sydney. "I think the odds of a (Democrat) sweep are diminishing - almost by the minute. That reduces the possibility, or the likelihood at least of a large stimulus program being agreed to in the first days of a Biden administration."
The U.S. dollar likewise reversed early losses and climbed 1% on a basket of currencies to 94.071. The euro fell back hard to $1.1634 and away from a top of $1.1768.
Participants are still waiting for the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England meetings this week which are expected to at least give a nod to further stimulus.
The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday cut interest rates to near zero and boosted bond buying - adding to the wave of cheap money flooding the world financial system.
Gold had recently been buoyed by all this liquidity but ran into selling Wednesday thanks to those recent gains - losing 1.1% to $1886 an ounce.
Oil prices sold early gains as the election outcome turned murky. U.S. crude futures were up 43 cents at $38.09 and Brent crude futures also gained 43 cents to $40.14.