SHANGHAI, Nov 3 (Reuters) - China's yuan barely moved on Tuesday as market participants held their breath for the U.S. presidential election. Prior to market open, the People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.6957 per dollar, 93 pips firmer than the previous fix of 6.705. The spot market opened at 6.6834 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.6916 at midday, 1 pip weaker than the previous late session close. Traders said they did not intend to bet on the outcome of the U.S. election given the high level of uncertainty. "It's really difficult to predict the election, and for the medium term we are optimistic about the yuan," said a trader at a Chinese bank. USDCNH is the cleanest directional Asia FX expression in differentiating between a Biden presidency (USDCNH lower on more predictable foreign policy vis-à-vis China) and the Trump status quo (USDCNH higher on short-covering anticipating more hawkish foreign policy), Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, said in a note. The U.S. dollar hovered near a one-month high on Tuesday as investors opted for caution in the hours ahead of polls opening on election day in the United States. Opinion polls have consistently showed Democrat challenger Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump. Analysts said a Biden win could weaken the dollar as he intends to spend big on stimulus, while a steadier foreign policy could lift trade-exposed currencies. Trump and Biden made a last-ditch push for votes in battleground states on Monday as their campaigns prepared for post-election disputes that could prolong a divisive presidential election. The Thomson Reuters/HKEX Global CNH index, which tracks the offshore yuan against a basket of currencies on a daily basis, stood at 95.49, firmer than the previous day's 95.46. The global dollar index fell to 93.966 from the previous close of 94.036. The offshore yuan was trading at 6.6906 per dollar. Offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards contracts (NDFs), considered the best available proxy for forward-looking market expectations of the yuan's value, traded at 6.8558, -2.34 percent away from the midpoint. One-year NDFs are settled against the midpoint, not the spot rate. The yuan market at 3:39AM GMT: ONSHORE SPOT: Item Current Previous Change PBOC midpoint 6.6957 6.705 0.14% Spot yuan 6.6916 6.6915 0.00% Divergence from -0.06% midpoint* Spot change YTD 4.06% Spot change since 2005 23.68% revaluation Key indexes: Item Current Previous Change Thomson 95.49 95.46 0.0 Reuters/HKEX CNH index Dollar index 93.966 94.036 -0.1 *Divergence of the dollar/yuan exchange rate. Negative number indicates that spot yuan is trading stronger than the midpoint. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) allows the exchange rate to rise or fall 2% from official midpoint rate it sets each morning. OFFSHORE CNH MARKET Instrument Current Difference from onshore Offshore spot yuan 6.6906 0.01% * Offshore 6.8558 -2.34% non-deliverable forwards ** *Premium for offshore spot over onshore **Figure reflects difference from PBOC's official midpoint, since non-deliverable forwards are settled against the midpoint. . (Reporting by Luoyan Liu, Jindong Zhang and Andrew Galbraith; editing by Richard Pullin)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.