The US dollar gave up a lot of its recent gains as election-related uncertainties weighed on US markets. Polls continued to show a narrowing lead for Clinton over Trump as the FBI investigation into her private email server is hurting her credibility. Data came in mostly in line with expectations, as the ISM manufacturing PMI advanced from 51.5 to 51.9 while the jobs component returned to showing expansion. Today has the FOMC statement lined up and hawkish remarks could keep the US currency afloat.
The euro took advantage of dollar weakness and was able to advance against most of its rivals, except against the franc. French and Italian banks were closed for the holiday and there were no euro zone reports released. Today has the final manufacturing PMI readings due, along with the German unemployment change. Analysts are expecting to see a flat reading for October.
The pound also weakened against its forex peers as the UK manufacturing PMI slumped from 55.5 to 54.3, lower than the 54.6 consensus. Today has the construction PMI due and a slide from 52.3 to 51.9 is expected, although traders might hold out ahead of the BOE decision tomorrow.
The franc was one of the top performers for the day as traders seemed to transfer their safe-haven holdings out of the dollar and onto the franc. SNB head Jordan attempted to jawbone the currency to no avail, with franc bulls unwilling to stop unless actual intervention is seen. Swiss retail sales came in line with expectations of a 2.3% year-over-year drop while the manufacturing PMI beat expectations by rising from 53.2 to 54.7 versus the 53.9 forecast.
Yen pairs were mostly stuck in consolidation as traders couldn’t get a clear direction after the BOJ refrained from boosting stimulus again. Central bank officials had a dovish outlook, citing that risks to growth and inflation were tilted to the downside. There are no reports due from Japan today.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The Kiwi was one of the strongest performers, thanks to upbeat jobs data and the 11.4% jump in dairy prices during the GDT auction. Quarterly employment change rose 1.4% while the jobless rate fell from 5.0% to 4.9%, indicating that a potential RBNZ rate cut might be their last one for a long while. In Australia, the currency got a boost from a slightly hawkish RBA statement and PMI improvements in China. US crude oil inventories are due next and a draw in stockpiles could support the Loonie.