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Elections 2016: If markets price in Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton, Citi says buy gold, sell stocks and bonds

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts at the end of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts at the end of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Citigroup has offered hedging tips if markets begin to price in the possibility of Republican candidate Donald Trump winning the election.

Polls are showing the U.S. presidential contest tightening, Citigroup noted in a note dated Sunday, reducing its probability of a win for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to 60 percent from 65 percent, with a 40 percent probability of a Trump win.

But if markets begin to price in an 85 percent probability of a Trump win, there were several hedging plays, Citi said.

For one, the bank expected plenty of U.S. dollar strength, particularly against emerging market currencies.

It also expected yields on 10-year and 30-year U.S. Treasurys would rise, with yield curves set to steepen. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Citi predicted that U.S. credit spreads, or the yield difference between U.S. Treasurys and corporate bonds, would widen amid concerns about headwinds to global trade from Trump's protectionist policies and from the risk of a recession.

Along with that, Citi expected global equities would fall for the same reason. It added emerging market equities would also take a hit from the stronger U.S. dollar.

That would mean both equities and bonds would weaken together, it noted. That's typically an indication the market was pricing in a crisis.

Finally, Citi expected that gold would rise, possibly as high as $1,400 an ounce from the current level around $1,315, as investors run to safety.

So far, markets weren't pricing in much chance of a Trump win, Citi said.

"Markets are only partially pricing in a Trump victory, the clearest expression being the sharp rally in U.S. dollar against the Mexican peso," it said. "Bond yields have been rising, initially on growth surprises and latterly on Bank of Japan (BOJ)/European Central Bank (ECB) tapering concerns – i.e. not so much Trump."

But Citi still wasn't expecting Trump would take the White House.

"Hillary Clinton still has a much more mathematically straightforward path to victory in the Electoral College vote," it noted. But it added that the Democratic candidate "suffers from an 'enthusiasm gap' that may affect support at the polls on November 8th, with Trump voters significantly more likely to say they intend to vote."



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—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1