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U.S. presidency on knife’s edge


U.S. presidency on knife’s edge

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REPUBLICAN DONALD TRUMP won the key battleground state of Ohio on Tuesday and led Democrat Hillary Clinton in a series of other states that were too close to call, including Florida and North Carolina, in a surprisingly close race for the White House.

The U.S. dollar sank and stock markets slammed into reverse in wild Asian trade on Wednesday as early results pointed to a nail-biter and investors stampeded to safe-haven assets.

Sovereign bonds and gold shot higher while the Mexican peso went into near free-fall as investors faced the possibility of a Trump win. Investors worry a victory by the New York businessman could cause economic and global uncertainty.

With voting completed in 44 of the 50 U.S. states, the race was tight in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, leaving the race for the White House on a knife’s edge.

Trump’s win in Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, and his edge in Florida and North Carolina gave him an early advantage in the state-by-state fight for 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.

Clinton had more options to reach 270, with Trump needing a virtual sweep of about six toss-up states to win. But a Trump win in all those three states would leave Clinton needing to win the remaining battlegrounds including Pennsylvania, Michigan and either Nevada or New Hampshire.

Both candidates scored victories in states where they were expected to win. Trump captured conservative states in the South and Midwest, while Clinton swept several states on the East Coast and Illinois in the Midwest.

After running close throughout the night in Virginia, Clinton pulled out the swing state that is home to her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine. (Reuters)