European stocks fell at the open of trading amid global financial market turmoil in the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. Presidential election, but loses were limited as sector gains and the certainty of the vote bolstered investor sentiment.
In fact, Britain's FTSE 100 turned positive after two hours of trading and was hovering at 6840 by 10:00 am London time - little changed from Tuesday's close and a much smaller loss than was projected late in Asia trading as Trump held a narrow lead over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Germany's DAX pared its losses to 48 points by 11:00 am in Frankfurt, a 0.5% decline, while France's CAC 40 fell 0.7%, or 31 points.
The losses were somewhat limited by the certainty of Trump's decisive win, which is likely to include both Houses of Congress and included both an Electoral College majority and a edge in the popular vote.
Switzerland's defensive-stock heavy SMI, however, is the only major European index consistently in the green Wednesday as big moves in pharmaceutical stocks lift the benchmark 1.5% past Tuesday's close.
is the top gainer, rising 4.07%, followed by Roche (+3.76%) and
Actelion is currently the top gainer, rising 5.12%, followed by advances for Novartis AG (+4.86%), and Roche (+4.7%). Credit Sussie, the country's biggest lender, is down 0.2%.
Pharmaceutical companies were also the standout gainers in early volatile trading in London and Paris, as investors bet on an end to so-called "Obamacare" and a possible change in pricing rules for generic drugs.
Shire Plc gained 7% by 10:00am London time, with 2.5% advances for AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline in London. In France, the country's leading drugsmaker Sanofi SA was up 2.1% in early trading to €2.01 each.
Government bond prices rose amid the global equities selloff following Trump's shock victory, with U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, which move in the opposite direction to prices, down 2 basis points at 1.84%.
Benchmark 10-year German government bond yields traded 5 basis points lower at 0.138% while comparable Gilt yields were down 5 basis points at 1.18%.
In currency markets the U.S. dollar pared steep losses to trade 0.5% against a basket of global currencies but surged against the Mexican peso. It was recently up 9.5% against the Mexican currency, with one dollar buying 20,0350 pesos. The peso had earlier tumbled as much as 13% the biggest fall since the 1994 peso crisis.
The pound was the recipient of some of the dollar's demise, rising 0.14% to $1.2397, while the European single currency gained 0.3% to €1.1105 as investors scrambled to fight save-haven assets in the midst of the vote counting.