Financial markets turn sour on close US election

Financial markets have turned sour on the close US presidential election, which has Donald Trump leading in several key states.

RNZ reports investors have started to sell risky assets, such as shares and commodities, and are chasing the security of currencies such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc and gold.

The markets had started the day banking on Mrs Clinton winning, but the strong showing for Mr Trump in swing states such as Florida and Ohio has seen markets overturn early modest gains and head lower.

The New Zealand sharemarket, which was up about 0.3 percent in early trading has fallen nearly 2 percent in less than an hour.

Other stock markets in Australia and Asia also turned negative.

The Japanese yen was stronger across the board, while gold leapt more than 2 percent and oil fell by the same amount.

The New Zealand dollar was holding its own against the US dollar at around 73.4 cents, but was weaker against the British pound and the Euro.