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FOREX-U.S. dollar hovers in calm before election; Aussie slips on RBA cut

    * Dollar broadly steady as election risk mutes market moves
    * Aussie slips a fraction after RBA trims rates
    * U.S. election results to filter in through Wednesday Asia
trade
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

    By Tom Westbrook
    SINGAPORE, Nov 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar hovered just
below 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, while the Australian dollar slipped after a
central bank rate cut.
    Markets are singularly focused on the election result, but
rather than outright bets on a particular outcome many traders
have flocked to the safety of dollars so that they are well
positioned to take advantage of volatility when results arrive.
    Against a basket of currencies, the dollar held at
93.996, just under a month-high hit on Monday. The safe-harbour
yen has also ground higher in recent weeks and it was
steady at 104.72 yen per dollar through the Asia session.
    The Aussie fell 0.2% and Australian bonds rallied
after the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered its policy interest
rate by 15 basis points to 0.1% and announced a bond-buying
programme, as widely expected.
    Across the board, trading volume was lightened by a public
holiday in Japan and moves muted as most investors have settled
on a pre-election stance.
    "We have pared back a lot of our positions," said Stuart
Oakley, a London-based executive at Nomura.
    "It's a bit reckless to position ourselves for one outcome
of the election... We've positioned ourselves to trade the post
(election) volatility."
    Opinion polls have consistently showed Democrat challenger
Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump.
    Analysts said a Biden win could weaken the dollar as he is
expected to spend big on stimulus and to take a freer approach
to trade - boosting other currencies at the dollar's expense.
    But with battleground states too close to call and with the
prospect of either a Trump victory or an inconclusive result
likely to support the dollar, selling was limited.
    The New Zealand dollar slipped marginally to
$0.6626. The euro rose a touch to $1.1652 and sterling
 was held just below $1.30.
    
    VOLATILITY AWAITS    
    Beneath the steady spot prices, volatility gauges are
soaring in an indication that things could get bumpy as election
results arrive through the Asia session on Wednesday.
    One-week implied volatility for the euro and yen
 were both above 11%, the highest since the beginning
of April. One-week implied volatility for the yuan was over 12%
and at a five-year peak.
    "Early indicators, Texas and Florida, may be cue for shifts
in market positioning," said strategist Terence Wu at
Singapore's OCBC Bank.
    That could happen between 0200 GMT and 0400 GMT on
Wednesday, he said, with the Australian dollar vulnerable and
havens like the yen or Swiss franc attractive if Trump still
seems very much in the race.
    The yuan is also in the headlights - steady on Tuesday but
expected to move with the election news because a re-elected
Trump could stoke Sino-U.S. tension.
    "A surprise Trump victory could reignite fears of tariffs,"
said Mizuho chief Asia foreign exchange strategist Ken Cheung in
Hong Kong.
    "In our base-case scenario of a Biden victory, we look for
more room for yuan appreciation with our target of 6.50 at
2021-end, given the waning risk of a new trade war and China's
robust recovery."
    Elsewhere investors are awaiting a policy decision from
Malaysia's central bank at 0700 GMT, with a slim majority of
economists expecting it to hold its overnight policy rate at a
record low of 1.75%.
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 12:51PM (451 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1652        $1.1638     +0.12%         +3.93%      +1.1655     +1.1625
 Dollar/Yen                   104.7250       104.8100    -0.08%         -3.58%      +104.8100   +104.6950
 Euro/Yen                     122.03         121.93      +0.08%         +0.07%      +122.0400   +121.8800
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9185         0.9194      -0.08%         -5.06%      +0.9191     +0.9183
 Sterling/Dollar              1.2918         1.2917      +0.03%         -2.58%      +1.2936     +1.2911
 Dollar/Canadian              1.3229         1.3229      +0.02%         +1.86%      +1.3234     +1.3208
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7034         0.7057      -0.33%         +0.25%      +0.7062     +0.7030
 NZ                           0.6626         0.6634      -0.14%         -1.53%      +0.6647     +0.6626
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ

    
 (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
  
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