Dollar firms ahead of us election

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THE Australian dollar has slightly strengthened against its US counterpart, despite a steady US jobs report that has reinforced the likelihood of a Federal Reserve rate rise.

At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 76.76 US cents, up from 76.69 cents on Friday.

The focus remains on Tuesdays US election, the mood is risk-averse, Westpac senior market strategist Imre Speizer said.

The Aussie dollar earlier slipped to 76.52 on the US jobs data but quickly recovered, reflecting the overall risk-averse sentiment in the market. Tuesdays US presidential election is shaping up to be a close race, with favourite Democrat Hillary Clintons lead in the key swing states quite slender. The market expects little change until the election results are known by Wednesday, Australia time.

The Australian dollar retains upwards daily momentum, but will find it difficult to sustain a break above 0.7700 (US77 cents) ahead of the US elections, Mr Speizer said in a note on Monday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT ON MONDAY

One Australian dollar buys:

* 76.76 US cents, from 76.69 cents on Friday

* 79.32 Japanese yen, from 79.17 yen

* 69.05 euro cents, from 69.15 euro cents

* 61.30 British pence, from 61.57 British pence

* 104.82 New Zealand cents, from 105.01 NZ cents

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEDT previous local session)

Source: IRESS