Dollar edges lower ahead of US presidential debate


The dollar slipped against the yen and euro Monday as traders shift focus from central bank policy to the US presidential election and the candidates’ first televised debate.
Last week’s trading was dominated by sharper monetary policy signals from the Bank of Japan and US Federal Reserve.
The moves by the central banks Wednesday — the BoJ overhauling its stimulus programme to target inflation while the Fed also pressing on with policies that makes cash cheep — had sent world equities and high-yielding currencies soaring.
On Monday, the focus moved to Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump squaring off in their first televised debate later Monday as they sit nearly neck and neck in the polls.
“With the Fed out of the way, and not now in play until December with the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) next meet on November 2… it is the (election) that should now dominate market psychology for the next six weeks,” said Ray Attrill, a forex strategist at National Australia Bank.
“Post-Fed, we’ve seen market volatility/risk aversion fall-back sharply.
“The first of the televised debate between Trump and Clinton on Monday night and how that impacts their poll standings will be of keen interest,” he said in a commentary.
In Tokyo, the dollar traded 100.97 yen, slightly off 101.02 yen in New York late Friday.
The euro fetched $1.1226 and 113.38 yen, against $1.1128 and 113.43 yen.
“We are modestly bearish on (the) dollar near-term in the wake of the FOMC’s latest procrastination,” Sean Callow, a senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking in Sydney, told Bloomberg News.
“Three months is a long time to wait for a rate hike that might not come, and we expect US data to generally keep surprising to the downside,” he said.
In other trading, the greenback was broadly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies, including the Malaysian ringgit, South Korean won, Philippine peso and Thai baht.