Donald Trump has vowed to be “president for all Americans” after pulling off an astonishing victory in the race for the White House
He told jubilant supporters it was “now time for America to bind the wounds of division and come together”.
And he pledged to keep his promise to “make America great again” after beating Hillary Clinton in a battle which went down to the wire.
At the end of one of the most divisive elections in modern US history, the Republican candidate sealed victory when he took key battleground states Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Clinton camp initially refused to throw in the towel.
But Mr Trump told supporters shortly before 8am UK time: “I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us – it’s about us – on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard fought campaign.”
Mr Trump went out of his way to show magnanimity towards a campaign rival he had labelled “crooked Hillary”.
And there was none of his trademark confrontational rhetoric as he made his victory speech.
But international markets were panicked by the Trump victory, with London’s FTSE 100 Index dropping as much as 2% on opening.
Shares also tumbled in Asia and the dollar and Mexican peso fell.
Mr Trump teased supporters with the prospect of potentially serving the maximum, two full terms as president.
He said: “It’s been what they call a historic event – but to be a really historic we have to do a great job.
“I promise you I will not let you down, we will do a great job – I look very much forward to being your president.
“And hopefully at the end of two years, or three years, or four years – or maybe even eight years – you will say that so many of you worked so hard, but you will say that was something that you were really very proud to do.”
During a 15-minute speech, he said: “I can only say that while the campaign is over, our work on this movement is only now just beginning.
“We’re going to get to work immediately for the American people and we are going to be doing a job that hopefully you will be so proud of your president.
“It’s my honour, it’s been an amazing evening. I love this country.”
Paying tribute to his family and staff – many of who, including wife Melania, joined him on stage – Mr Trump said: “You’ve all given me such incredible support.”