The dollar recovered some ground on Monday after a Friday night slide following news that the FBI was investigating newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private server, knocking her back in the latest polls of voters.
A Clinton win in next month’s U.S. presidential election is generally now seen by analysts as likely to be a positive for the dollar, clearing the way for the second rise in a decade in official U.S. interest rates in December.
Victory for businessman Donald Trump, while read as carrying the potential to encourage repatriation of dollars, by contrast would be expected to unnerve investors, supporting the yen and other perceived safe havens for global money.
“The Clinton story of course has had an impact,” said Richard Benson, co-head of portfolio management at currency fund Millennium Global in London.
“The polls are now roughly 50-50, but the probabilities are still hugely in favor of Clinton, given how the votes are spread out (per state). The question is whether people decide to reduce risk ahead of the election.”
He said if that did happen, it would help the yen but damage some emerging market currencies against the dollar.
The Mexican peso, seen as the main barometer in currency markets of Trump’s chances of victory, inched higher in morning trade in Europe after falling as much as 2 percent peak to trough on Friday. MXN=
The dollar, still on track for a solid monthly gain despite a more general round of profit-taking by investors last week, rose 0.3 percent against the euro to $1.0960, still just a third of a cent above Friday’s lows.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, added 0.1 percent to 98.489 .DXY =USD, up 3.2 percent for October but below last Tuesday’s nearly nine-month high of 99.119.
Investors have tended to see Clinton as the candidate of the status quo, while there is greater uncertainty over what a Trump victory might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international trade deals and the domestic economy.
“Clinton’s email problems are an ongoing issue, and resolution seems unlikely ahead of the election next week,” said Kumiko Ishikawa, senior FX analyst at Gaitame.Com Research Institute in Tokyo.
“So it’s difficult for investors to have a ‘risk-on’ mood, but at the same time, unless new factors emerge, it’s hard for them to sell the dollar, too,” she said.
Before news of the FBI’s fresh investigation emerged on Friday, the dollar had gained on stronger-than-expected U.S. GDP growth, which reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve was on course to raise rates.
The Fed is widely expected to keep its policy on hold at its policy meeting ending on Wednesday. Money markets were still pricing in about a 70 percent chance of a rate hike in December.