The dollar slipped Monday as traders shift focus from central bank policy to the US presidential election, while the Philippine peso tumbled to a seven-year low on worries over President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies.
Last week’s currency 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 overhauled its stimulus programme to target inflation while the Fed pressed on with cheap-money policies — 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 in the day 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.
“The first of the televised debates 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 at 100.95 yen, slightly off 101.02 yen in New York late Friday.
The euro fetched $1.1227 and 113.34 yen, against $1.1128 and 113.43 yen.
In other trading, the greenback was broadly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies, including the Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit, South Korean won and Thai baht.
The peso fell 0.5 percent to 48.260 on the dollar, its lowest level since September 2009, as fears grow about the fallout from Duterte’s anti-drugs war and expletive-filled insults of global leaders.
The peso’s decline is “mainly due to politics with the Philippine president’s ongoing war on drug dealers and his intent to seem to alienate all of their major trading partners,” said Jeffrey Halley, a market strategist at Oanda Asia Pacific in Singapore.
Investors also shied away from emerging-market assets before oil producers meet this week to address a global supply glut.
Malaysia’s ringgit sank 0.5 percent while South Korea’s won dropped 0.6 percent.
The Turkish lira hit multi-week lows after Moody’s last week cut Turkey’s sovereign debt rating by one notch to the speculative or “junk” level, citing weak finances and political turmoil.
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