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US dollar turns lower against major rivals on fresh US election jitters

Friday, November 4, 2016 - 05:52

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The US dollar hovered near multi-week lows against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, ending a morning reprieve which saw the US dollar stabilise, on uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the US presidential election.

[NEW YORK] The US dollar hovered near multi-week lows against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, ending a morning reprieve which saw the US dollar stabilise, on uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the US presidential election.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last down 0.24 per cent at 97.163, not far from a more than three-week low of 97.041 also touched Thursday. The index was mostly flat to slightly higher earlier, reaching a session high of 97.456.

Analysts attributed the US dollar's earlier stability to a New York Times/CBS poll of 1,333 registered voters that found US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton ahead by 3 percentage points.

In addition, a Washington Post/ABC poll showed Mrs Clinton 2 percentage points ahead among 1,767 likely voters surveyed Oct 29 - Nov 1.

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Market voices on:

Analysts said, however, that traders continued to prepare for the risk of a victory from Republican candidate Donald Trump. Mrs Clinton has been viewed as the candidate of the status quo, while many fear that a victory for Mr Trump would carry global risks to trade and growth.

"We're now seeing markets price in a higher risk of a Trump presidency," says Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at the Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

"Most polls are still showing that it's far too close to call, and that's ultimately what is keeping investors nervous."

The euro was last up 0.14 per cent against the US dollar at US$1.1110 after falling 0.3 per cent earlier to a session low of US$1.1060. The euro hovered near a session high of US$1.1126 touched in early trading, which was the highest since Oct 11.

The US dollar was last down 0.37 per cent against the yen at 102.91 yen, not far from a one-month low of 102.56 yen touched early Thursday.

The Mexican peso strengthened against the US dollar, bouncing back from a low of 19.5450 pesos per US dollar to last trade up more than one per cent at 19.1610 pesos, putting it on course for its best day in more than two weeks.

While general uncertainty made traders nervous about the US dollar against major rivals, the Mexican peso jumped more specifically on the polls showing Mrs Clinton's lead, said Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at WorldWideMarkets in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

A Trump victory has been viewed as a key risk for the Mexican currency, given the candidate's promises to clamp down on immigration and rethink trade relations.

REUTERS

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