Reacting to Donald Trump's election victory, Germany's blue-chip DAX 30 dived by almost 3 percent minutes after trading started on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning. It, however, later recouped its losses and turned into positive territory.
Earlier on Asian markets, Initial confidence that market favorite Hillary Clinton would win the race clearly was wiped out fast as results showed Donald Trump could be heading for victory in some key states.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange ended the day 5.36 percent down, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 ending at 16,251.54.
Tokyo said the government and the nation's central bank would hold crisis talks later on Wednesday on the market convulsions sparked by the US election results.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong fell 2.2 percent and Sydney gave up almost 2 percent on Wednesday, tracking losses across other Asian markets.
"Put your seat belts on, because this is going to be a bumpy ride," Chad Morganlander at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. told Bloomberg.
Shockwaves reaching the market
"The slightest move towards Trump moved the market very quickly, and this just shows there's a lot at stake," AMP Capital Investors' Nader Naeimi commented.
Safe-haven assets rallied as investors went running for cover, with the Japanese yen and gold (up over 5 percent) rushing higher.
Clinton was considered by many investors to be a safer bet than Trump, who is seen to be a loose cannon with policies many fear could wreck the world's top economy.
The Mexican peso, which had already been battered by Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric earlier in the campaign, hit a record low against the dollar on Wednesday, losing over 13 percent of its value against the greenback.
On Wall Street, stocks rebounded slightly early Wednesday from a mixed open, as worries about Trump were offset by hopes that his pledges to cut taxes, curb regulation and increase infrastructure spending could boost growth.
About 30 minutes into trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.3 percent at 18,378.55. The broad-based S&P 500 was up 0.1 percent to 2,142.68, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was flat at 5,196.08.
hg/tko (dpa, AFP)