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FOREX-Euro pops to 5-month high vs dollar on French election relief
April 23, 2017 / 11:59 PM / 8 months ago

FOREX-Euro pops to 5-month high vs dollar on French election relief

* Euro trades as high as $1.0940 in early Asian trade

* Centrist Macron wins first round of French election

* DXY slips, but losses mitigated as safe-haven yen slips

TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) - The euro scaled five-month highs against the dollar in early Asian trading on Monday after the centrist candidate swept to victory in the first round of the French presidential election, reducing the risk of an anti-establishment shock in the final round.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron, a pro-EU ex-banker and former economy minister, emerged as the leader of the first round of voting and qualified for a May 7 runoff alongside the second finisher, far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

His victory makes him the frontrunner in next month’s election, and marked a huge defeat for the two centre-right and centre-left groupings that have dominated French politics for 60 years.

The euro surged 0.9 percent to $1.0868 after earlier rising as high as $1.0940, its highest since Nov. 10. Against the yen, it jumped 2.3 percent to 119.66, after touching a one-month high of 120.935.

Short-covering on election relief lifted the single currency and triggered stop-loss orders, market participants said.

“We saw the big moves in the early trading hours when liquidity was thin, so we might not see anything dramatic for the rest of the Asian session,” said Mitsuo Imaizumi, Tokyo-based chief foreign-exchange strategist for Daiwa Securities.

The euro’s gains dented the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six rivals. It slumped 1 percent to 98.998, though its losses were mitigated as the greenback gained against the perceived safe-haven yen.

The dollar was up 0.9 percent at 110.04 yen, rising above the 110-yen level for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Also underpinning the dollar, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 2.246 percent in Asian trade, up from Friday’s U.S. close of 2.236 percent.

The French vote and the euro’s rise come ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday, at which the central bank’s ultra-easy stance is set to remain unchanged.

The market largely shrugged off U.S. President Donald Trump’s promise on Friday that a “big announcement” was coming next week on overhauling the U.S. tax code. An administration official said on Saturday that the announcement will consist of “broad principles and priorities.”

Trump will sign several executive orders on energy and the environment this week, which would make it easier for the United States to develop energy on and offshore, a White House official said on Sunday. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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