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Global markets rocked by Trump's shocking victory

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(Bloomberg) -- Global markets were thrown into disarray by Donald Trump's upset election win, shocking investors after recent polls indicated that Hillary Clinton would win comfortably.

Futures on the S&P 500 plunged by a 5% limit that triggers trading curbs and Asian shares sank by the most since the aftermath of Britain's shock vote to leave the European Union. Gold also had its biggest move since Brexit, surging with safe-haven assets including the yen and sovereign bonds. Mexico's peso had its steepest plunge since 2008 amid concern U.S. trade policies will become more protectionist under Trump.

A Trump victory had been portrayed by analysts as having the potential to unhinge markets that were banking on a continuation of policies that coincided with the second-longest bull market in S&P 500 history.

Brexit was the last major political shock and led to the S&P 500 sliding 5.3% in two days.

"This has caught a lot of people off guard. We're all very surprised," said Karl Goody, a private wealth manager at Shaw and Partners in Sydney, which oversees about A$10 billion ($7.6 billion).

Most polls showed Democratic candidate Clinton ahead of Trump going into the vote and websites that took bets on the victor had put her odds of winning at 80% or more. Trump pledged to clamp down on immigration to the U.S. and renegotiate free-trade agreements with countries including Mexico.

"This would be the biggest political upset in living memory," said Jeremy Cook, chief economist at London-based World First U.K. "The significance is almost unquantifiable."

TRADING CURBS TRIGGERED

S&P 500 futures tumbled by the maximum 5% loss permitted on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange before trading curbs are triggered, and were down 4.3% as of 3:52 p.m. Tokyo time. The restrictions last came into force in the wake of the Brexit vote and set a floor price for the contracts through the remainder of the overnight trading session.

The MSCI Asia Pacific was down more than 2%, with benchmarks in India, Japan and New Zealand posting the biggest declines in the region.

"We're in the midst of a violent unwinding of positions globally as investors deal with an unexpected, risk-off situation," said Norihiro Fujito, a Tokyo-based senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Mexico's peso plunged to a record 20.7818 per dollar and was the worst performer among currencies worldwide. Other higher-yielding currencies sank, with South Africa's rand weakening 2.9% and South Korea's won down 1.3%.

"This would be the biggest political upset in living memory," said Jeremy Cook, chief economist at London-based World First U.K. "The significance is almost unquantifiable."

Bloomberg News