October 10, 2016 / 12:17 AM / 9 months ago

FOREX-Mexican peso, Canadian dollar gain before US presidential debate

3 Min Read

SINGAPORE, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Mexican peso and Canadian dollar rose on Monday ahead of a closely-watched U.S. presidential debate, after comments Donald Trump made about women in a video created a firestorm around his campaign.

The Mexican peso rose about 1.6 percent against the U.S. dollar to 18.9950.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump will square off from 0100 GMT in their second of three debates before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8.

"Over the last couple of weeks it's become increasingly apparent that markets in terms of risk sentiment really do favour a Clinton win," said Steven Dooley, currency strategist for Western Union Business Solutions in Melbourne.

"We can see clearly that this is the driver in markets. They're concerned about what a Trump presidency will do to financial markets and markets react more positively to anything that makes Clinton more likely to win the presidency," Dooley said.

Trump on Sunday struck a defiant tone in the face of calls for him to abandon the U.S. presidential race, attacking prominent Republicans and saying he had "tremendous support" despite a storm over his vulgar comments about women.

Trump has vowed he would build a wall on the border with Mexico and renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if he is elected.

The Mexican peso had hit a record low against the dollar in September, on concerns that a Trump victory would threaten Mexico's exports to the United States, its single biggest market.

The Canadian dollar edged up around 0.4 percent to C$1.3247 to the U.S. dollar.

Moves among major currency pairs were more subdued.

Sterling held steady at $1.2434, taking a breather in the wake of its "flash crash" in Asian trade on Friday, when it suddenly plunged to a 31-year low of $1.1491.

Although sterling later came off that low, it still slid 4.2 percent last week in its worst weekly performance since the week of the UK Brexit vote in late June, pressured by worries that Britain would opt for a "hard" exit from the European Union, in which control over migration into Britain would be favoured over trade access to the EU.

The U.S. dollar nursed losses suffered on Friday after U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for September was weaker than expected.

Against a basket of six major currencies, the dollar last traded at 96.512, having retreated from Friday's two-month high of 97.188.

The dollar edged up 0.2 percent to 103.05 yen after tumbling 1 percent on Friday and remained below a one-month high of 104.17 yen set on Thursday. (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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