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PIG TODAY-Dollar steady as investors await U.S. presidential debate, ECB

 

 

The dollar was steady in early trading on Thursday, as investors awaited the final debate before next month's U.S. presidential election as well as a European Central Bank meeting later in the day.

While most recent opinion polls favour Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will try to use the third and final debate to regain momentum in the final weeks of a contentious campaign ahead of the Nov. 8 vote.

"I'm not expecting the debate to be a major factor, unless there is a big surprise and Clinton performs poorly," said Mitsuo Imaizumi, chief currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.

"But if it's a fifty/fifty outcome, and neither candidate makes any new impression, then we won't see much reaction in markets," he said.

The dollar was little changed on the day at 103.45 yen , while an index of the U.S. currency which tracks it against a basket of six major rivals, was nearly flat at 97.911 .DXY=.

The euro was treading water at $1.0977  ahead of Thursday's ECB policy meeting, after plumbing a nearly three-month low of $1.0953 overnight.

The main focus for investors is whether or not ECB President Mario Draghi will give any indications that the bank is poised to taper its bond purchase program. The ECB may defer until December any changes to its asset purchase, sources familiar with the discussion said last week.

"If Mario Draghi puts greater emphasis on the need for more stimulus, further losses are likely but if he's optimistic and emphasizes resilience and we think he will given recent data, EUR/USD could find its way back to 1.11," wrote Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management.

The dollar gained 0.2 percent against its Canadian counterpart to C$1.3130 after the Bank of Canada cut its growth forecast on Wednesday and unexpectedly said it had discussed adding more monetary stimulus to speed up the nation's economic recovery.

The pound was steady on the day at $1.2287 , ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May's first European Union summit since taking the helm following Britain's June 23 vote to exit the bloc.

A source in May's office said the prime minister would use a dinner at the summit in Brussels to outline her Brexit plan to the other 27 leaders.

The Australian dollar also held steady at $0.7725, shrugging off a report that the mid-year federal budget update could be the catalyst for Australia to lose its AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's after the ratings agency put it on negative watch.

  Source: reuters.com

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