By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar hit a more than one-month low against the safe-haven Swiss franc on Friday on nervousness ahead of next week’s U.S. presidential election, despite a solid U.S. jobs report that supported expectations for a Federal Reserve rate hike next month.
Traders largely looked past the U.S. October nonfarm payrolls report, which showed wage growth that reinforced bets of a rate hike in December, choosing to position themselves ahead of an increasingly uncertain race for the White House.
The battle between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump has tightened significantly in the past week, as several swing states that were leaning toward Clinton are now considered toss-ups, according to the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project.
Clinton has been viewed as the candidate of the status quo, while many fear that a Trump victory on Tuesday would carry global risks to trade and growth.
The dollar was last down 0.45 percent against the Swiss franc <CHF=>, at 0.9694 franc, near a more than one-month low of 0.9682 touched earlier. The dollar was mostly flat against the yen <JPY=>, at 103.02 yen, not far from a one-month low of 102.54 hit on Thursday.
“The Swiss franc is kind of the darling” given its safety, said Axel Merk, president and chief investment officer of Merk Investments in Palo Alto, California.
The Mexican peso <MXN=> rose as much as 1.2 percent against the dollar, to 18.9348 pesos per dollar, after hitting a more than one-month low of 19.5450 Thursday.
Investors likely bought the peso to neutralize Thursday’s selling on election uncertainty, said Sireen Harajli, currency strategist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in New York.
The peso is being used as a proxy on bets on the U.S. election because Mexico is considered to be the most vulnerable to Republican Donald Trump’s protectionist policy on trade as the country sends 80 percent of its exports to the United States.
The euro was last up 0.2 percent at $1.1125 <EUR=>, near a more than three-week high of $1.1130 touched earlier, after initially slipping 0.2 percent to a session low of $1.1081.
The dollar had gained against the euro after the jobs report showed a year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings of 2.8 percent, the biggest gain since June 2009, before reversing course. [nLNN4MEC7Q]
The dollar index <.DXY>, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was set to post its biggest weekly percentage drop since late July, of 1.4 percent.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Paul Simao and Leslie Adler)