The dollar jumped early on Monday after the FBI said a review of newly discovered emails did not change the agency’s conclusion that no charges were warranted in the case of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Markets have tended to see US presidential contender Clinton as the status quo candidate, and news favouring her bid often boosts risk appetite.
The dollar was up 1.1 percent at 104.275 yen after surging to 104.530 in early trade. It had declined to 102.550 last week as polls showed a tightening US presidential race. The euro was down 0.5 percent to $1.1089, knocked off a four-week peak of $1.1143 reached on Friday.
The US currency also won back ground against the Swiss franc, which has served as a safe-haven along with the yen. The dollar was up 0.6 percent at $0.9739 francs after going as high as $0.9789.
“The dollar is being bought back on lessened prospects of a Trump presidency. But so far it is not active buying, as Clinton is likely to maintain a policy that prevents a strong dollar if she is elected, and as economic prospects remain unclear,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
“Uncertainty regarding the elections will remain until the last minute, as a significant part of Trump’s latest comeback in the polls may not be related to Clinton’s e-mail probe.”
News of the emails had helped Republican Donald Trump narrow Clinton’s lead in some polls and unsettle markets globally. There is great uncertainty about what a Trump victory in the Nov. 8 vote might mean for economic policy, free trade and geopolitics. The Mexican peso has acted as something of a bellwether of sentiment as Trump’s proposed policies are considered to be deeply negative for the country. The US currency was down 2.2 percent at 18.59 pesos to the dollar, its weakest since Oct. 26.
Risk-sensitive currencies such as the Australian dollar also gained on the yen and euro in early trade, with the Aussie climbing 1.1 percent to 80.04 yen. The final NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday showed Clinton holding a four-point lead over Trump. Clinton leads by a slender 1.8 points according to Real Clear Politics’ polling average.