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Euro gives up some gains as Macron seals French election victory

5/8/2017, 11:23:51 AMBasics of Trading
Euro gives up some gains as Macron seals French election victory

The euro edged away from highs hit early in the Asian session on Monday as investors took profits from its gains after centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory over the far-right Marine Le Pen in France's presidential election.

Macron's resounding defeat of a nationalist who had threatened to take France out of the European Union brought relief to investors who had feared another populist upheaval after Britain's vote to exit the European Union and Donald Trump's election to president last year.

Macron's margin of victory appeared even larger than expected. With most votes counted, he had garnered around 65.5 percent against Le Pen's 34.5 percent - a wider gap than the 20 or so percentage points pre-election surveys had suggested.

The euro had been on a rising trend in the days ahead of the election, as investors began to position for a Macron victory.

"The market already priced in the victory of Macron," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist for Mizuho Securities in Tokyo, as U.S. Treasury yields rose. "We saw some additional rise of the euro this morning, but considering the difficulty for Macron's party to get a majority in the national assembly election, he may not bring higher growth."

Looking at positioning in the euro, he said, "the market has squared its short positions, but there are no fresh reasons to take long positions, as there will likely be no new positive developments, and limited scope for upside for the euro."

In early Asian trading, the euro rose as high as $1.1024 , its highest since Nov. 9. It also jumped to a one-year high of 124.58 yen (EURJPY=) against its Japanese counterpart, and a five-month high of 1.08865 Swiss franc (EURCHF=R).

It last edged down to $1.0986 against the dollar, down 0.1 percent on the day, and at 123.94 yen, also down 0.1 percent.

The dollar was steady on the day at 112.79 yen , after jumping to a seven-week high of 113.14 yen in early trade.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was slightly higher on the day at 98.673 (DXY), after dipping as low as 98.387 earlier, its lowest since November.

The French election eclipsed Friday's U.S. employment data, which showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 211,000 in April. The unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent, near a 10-year low and well below the most recent Federal Reserve median forecast for full employment.