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Strong Trump showing in knife-edge vote

Press Association logoPress Association 8/11/2016 David Hughes and David Mercer

A strong showing by Donald Trump has left the US presidential election on a knife-edge, leading to nervousness in the international markets and a fall in the value of the dollar.

Contests in key battleground states including Florida were too close to call, severely denting Hillary Clinton's hopes of becoming the first female president in US history.

In a message which appeared to betray the nervousness in the Clinton camp, the Democratic nominee thanked her supporters "whatever happens tonight".

Florida, which has 29 votes in the electoral college which decides who becomes the next president, would represent a major prize for either camp as they seek to reach the victory target of 270.

The race was also close in other key battlegrounds including Ohio and North Carolina as one of the most bitter and divisive contests in modern US electoral history reached its climax.

Ohio was won by Barack Obama for the Democrats in 2012, but Republican nominee Mr Trump's campaign has targeted the bellwether state, which has voted for the eventual occupant of the White House in every election since 1960.

Florida voted Democrat in 2012 and Mrs Clinton's hopes may hinge on a high turnout among Latino voters opposed to Mr Trump, who has courted controversy in the campaign with outspoken attacks on Mexican immigrants.

In a message on Twitter Mrs Clinton thanked her team for their efforts during the long and brutal election campaign.

"This team has so much to be proud of," she said. "Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything."

The dollar tumbled and Asian shares shed early gains as Mr Trump powered ahead with some impressive early results.

With results called in 26 states, Trump had won 16 with 137 electoral votes while Clinton had won 10 with 104 electoral votes. A total of 270 electoral votes are needed to win.

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