Euro rises sharply after first round of French election

The French vote was being closely watched as a bellwether for populist sentiment following the election of Donald Trump as US president and Britain's vote to leave the EU.

Euro rises sharply after first round of French election

World Bulletin / News Desk

The euro rose sharply Monday as markets breathed a sigh of relief as first-round numbers showed centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron leading far-right eurosceptic Marine Le Pen.

In Asian trading, the European single currency was at $1.0849, against $1.0726 on Friday. It had risen as high as $1.0937 earlier Monday, up about two percent from last week.

Against the Japanese currency, the euro was trading at 119.31 yen, against 117.07 yen on Friday in New York. It hit 120.91 yen earlier.

Market-friendly Macron, a former banker and economy minister, won 23.9 percent of votes in Sunday's first round, slightly ahead of National Front (FN) leader Le Pen with 21.4 percent, according to near-final results from the interior ministry.

The two go through to a second round on May 7. Nine other candidates were eliminated.

A victory for Macron would make him the country's youngest leader in modern history.

"Markets are happy to buy what they see as the fact -- that 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron will be confirmed as the next president of the French republic in two weeks' time," Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.

The euro's rally highlighted how many investors were nervous ahead of the vote, analysts said.

"The market's initial reaction was stronger than expected -- it means that many people had their guard up ahead of the vote," Yuji Saito, Tokyo-based forex director at Credit Agricole, told AFP.

"There were many factors that required caution. It was a tight four-way race and tough to predict the outcome."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Nisan 2017, 09:20