Currency markets were flat on Tuesday (8 November), with investors across the world waiting with trepidation as US voters headed to the polls.
Stock markets rallied on Monday, after five major polls on showed Hillary Clinton to still be in the lead in the race to the White House, after the FBI said it found no evidence of criminality in the Democratic candidate's emails.
On the day of the vote, however, traders were playing the waiting game. The dollar was largely unchanged against its major rivals, with the exception of the yen and the Australian dollar, gaining 0.31% to ¥104.74 and 0.11% to AUD$1.2972 respectively against the pair.
The Japanese currency, traditionally seen as a safe haven, weakened for the third consecutive day, which seemed to strengthen the belief Clinton will pip Trump in the presidential race.
However, FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed warned against reading too much into the polls. "In a year full of surprises I will be reluctant to take big positions and would rather hedge against the unknown especially since a Clinton win is priced in to some extent.
"We shouldn't forget that the pound traded at $1.5 against the dollar on the day of the Brexit referendum."
The Mexican peso, which in recent weeks has become a de-facto gauge of election prospects – it would rally in case of a Clinton win – was 0.22% lower against the dollar, trading at 18.5528 pesos per dollar, after its implied volatility jumped to the highest level since October 2008 overnight.
Meanwhile, the greenback edged higher 0.18% higher against the Swiss Franc, which is also considered a safe haven, to CHF 0.9761. The latter and the yen could record sharp gains should Trump secure a four-year mandate.
"A number of currencies will be vulnerable to tonight's vote, even beyond the US dollar and the peso, which appear most exposed," said Oanda's senior analyst Craig Erlam. "The safe havens, most notably the yen and the Swiss franc, could appreciate considerably in the event of a Trump victory which may force their central banks to respond quite rapidly."
Should Trump pull off a major surprise and replace Barack Obama at the White House, the dollar could suffer a sharper decline against the pound, according to Caxton FX analyst Alexandra Russell-Oliver.
Oliver indicated a 5%-10% drop in the value of the US dollar was "entirely possible" should Trump be elected. "In terms of the bigger picture, the global implications of this swing in the market becomes a huge issue for countries with US dollar denominated debt in the emerging market amongst others," she said.
"Should we be trading at $1.2500 [to the pound] just prior to the election, we could be seeing a trading range between $1.3100 and 1.3500 in the instant aftermath of the result."
Meanwhile, the pound was also largely unchanged, trading at $1.2393 and €1.1223, after a disappointing 0.4% drop in UK industrial production in September was met with little response.