* Euro struggles after fresh developments to French
* Euro nurses large losses vs dollar, yen
* Dollar feels relative strength of yen, sags vs Japanese
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, Feb 20 The euro struggled for traction
against the dollar and yen early on Monday after suffering
significant losses at the end of last week on renewed concerns
about the upcoming French elections.
Markets, already nervous over the possibility of a win for
far-right, anti-European Union candidate Marine Le Pen, were
jolted after two French hard-left candidates late on Friday said
they were discussing cooperation in their bid for the country's
The tensions over the political developments and what it
could mean for the euro zone following Britain's shock decision
last June to exit the EU were keeping the single currency under
The euro was 0.1 percent higher at 1.0619 after
dropping 0.6 percent on Friday. The common currency nudged up
0.15 percent to 119.935 yen after plumbing an 11-day
low of 119.650. It had slid nearly 1 percent on Friday against
"The latest round of risk aversion that supported the yen is
likely to be a sporadic one, as equities are still well
supported globally. It is not the typical 'risk off' that
engulfs the broader financial markets and leads to the
safe-haven buying of the yen," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief
forex strategist at Mizuho Securities.
For now, the dollar was held in check by the relative
strength of the yen. The greenback extended Friday's drop and
was down 0.1 percent at 112.850 yen, on track for a
fourth straight session of losses.
Hopes of developments in fiscal stimulus plans under U.S.
President Donald Trump have also not materialised yet, adding to
the drag on the dollar.
A combative presidential news conference on Thursday raised
doubts over how effective the Trump administration will be in
pushing through its economic agenda.
The dollar index against a basket of currencies was down
0.15 percent at 100.800.
Elsewhere, the pound rose 0.2 percent to $1.2431.
The bounce was still modest in comparison to the 0.7 percent
loss on Friday, after a surprise third monthly fall in British
retail sales pointed to weakening consumer sentiment.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were little changed
at $0.7667 and $0.7180, respectively.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)