Euro rises as French election jitters abate
NEW YORK: The euro rose to a three-week high against the US dollar on Thursday as some traders shut down broad bets against the common currency ahead of the first round of the French presidential elections on Sunday.
The dollar remained weak against a basket of major currencies as the latest data on domestic jobless claims and business activity in the mid-Atlantic region did not change traders’ views of modest US economic growth and low inflation.
Traders were taking their cues from polls showing French centrist Emmanuel Macron easily beating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round two weeks later, analysts said.
“Markets are banking on (Macron’s) ability to drive the country out of its misery,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst for Think Markets in London.
Pollsters forecast the most likely outcome of the first round is that Macron will go head-to-head against Le Pen in the May 7 second round.
“We saw French yields come down a little bit,” said Sireen Harajli, currency strategist at Mizuho Corporate Bank in New York. “I think it is signaling some comfort regarding the upcoming election.”
The euro was up 0.52 percent against the dollar at $1.0765 after hitting a three-week high of $1.0777 earlier in the session.—Reuters
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