By Hiroyuki Kachi
The yen strengthened and the Mexican peso weakened during Asia trade on Wednesday, as uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election next week rose.
With Republican nominee Donald Trump leading in some polls, the U.S. dollar fell to 103.62 yen, its lowest level since Oct. 21, before regaining some ground to Y103.67 around 0450 GMT. That compared with Y104.14 late Tuesday in New York.
The Mexican peso, highly sensitive to developments in the U.S. presidential race, extended overnight losses to 19.34 pesos to the dollar midday from 19.18 pesos late Tuesday.
Most market watchers expect Hillary Clinton to win and believe the Democratic candidate would provide greater policy clarity and less uncertainty on trade negotiations. But worries have escalated since Friday when the FBI reopened its investigation into Mrs. Clinton's private email server, prompting investors to seek the safety of the yen.
Worsening market sentiment hurt Tokyo stocks, with the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average down 2.0% midday.
"Investors only half believe now, though their main scenario is Mrs. Clinton's victory. But they still remain unsure," said Minori Uchida, head of Tokyo global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
The uncertainty has led to some risk pullback ahead of the election, with investors unwinding their positions, including bets on a higher dollar, he said.
The yen was also higher against other rival currencies. The euro was lower at Y114.77 midday from Y115.15, while the Australian dollar dropped to Y79.05 from Y79.71.
In other currency trade pairs, theeuro maintained overnight gains, touching a fresh three-week high of $1.1070 midday from $1.1055 late Tuesday.
The WSJ Dollar Index, a measure of the U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.06% at 88.15.
Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 00:50 EST / 0450 GMT
Latest Previous %Chg Daily Daily %Chg
Dollar Rates Close High Low 12/31
USD/JPY Japan 103.67-68 104.15-16 -0.46 104.17 103.64 -13.81
EUR/USD Euro 1.1068-71 1.1055-58 +0.12 1.1072 1.1050 +1.92
GBP/USD U.K. 1.2237-39 1.2243-45 -0.05 1.2248 1.2221 -16.95
USD/CHF Switzerland 0.9729-33 0.9752-56 -0.24 0.9756 0.9729 -2.88
USD/CAD Canada 1.3390-95 1.3389-94 +0.01 1.3403 1.3385 -3.22
AUD/USD Australia 0.7623-27 0.7650-54 -0.35 0.7659 0.7613 +4.64
NZD/USD New Zealand 0.7225-31 0.7181-87 +0.61 0.7230 0.7180 +5.78
EUR/JPY Japan 114.75-79 115.12-16 -0.32 115.17 114.72 -12.25
Source: Tullett Prebon
Write to Hiroyuki Kachi at Hiroyuki.Kachi@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 02, 2016 01:56 ET (05:56 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.