Stocks volatile as traders sweat U.S. vote result

An election that is too close to call has markets sweating a result.

U.S. equity futures rose and fell, then rose and fell again as prospects kept shifting.

They then buckled after President Donald Trump alleged electoral fraud, without any evidence, and falsely claimed victory.

That despite there being millions of votes still to be counted.

Trading was then every bit as volatile when Europe opened.

Stocks initially sank, with Germany’s Dax index off around one percent in early trade.

But equities then clawed their way back to trade broadly flat by mid morning.

Even so, there were signs of money flowing into assets seen as safe havens.

German government bonds gained, while the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen found support.

Earlier in the week European stocks had rallied on bets of a clear win for Democrat Joe Biden.

Investors saw that leading to more U.S. stimulus, and better transatlantic ties.

As those bets started to look shaky, shares in banks, energy and mining firms took the hardest hit, falling as much as three percent early on.

Trade-dependent carmakers dropped too, with Volkswagen and Renault down around two percent.

Now everything hangs on a vote count that could still take hours, or days.

While it’s often said that markets like nothing better than stability and predictability, right now, there’s very little of either.