Euro Surges on French Election, While Dollar Slides

By Chelsey Dulaney Features Dow Jones Newswires

The euro remained up more than 1% on Monday after the first round of the French election eased concerns about the future of the currency, while the dollar fell to a new five-month low.

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The euro rose 1.4% against the dollar to $1.0872 in New York trading, easing slightly from highs hit overnight. The euro rose 2.3% against the Japanese yen.

Investors poured into European assets broadly after centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the most votes in the first round of France's presidential election. Mr. Macron took 23.8% of the vote and is now the overwhelming favorite to win May's second-round vote against second-placed far-right politician Marine Le Pen, whose threats to pull France out of the euro had raised fears about the future of the currency.

The election outcome should continue to support the euro, said Bilal Hafeez, global head of G10 FX strategy at Nomura, in a research note.

"The markets can price out the risk of a far-right victory," said Mr. Hafeez in a research note. "All of this means markets can finally focus on the positive macro picture of the euro-area: higher growth than the U.S., a large current account surplus and core inflation turning higher."

Meanwhile, the dollar continues to give back gains reaped after the November U.S. presidential election. The euro's strength drove the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against 16 others, to its lowest level since Nov. 11 on Monday.

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Investors have grown cautious on the dollar in recent months amid signs that the U.S. economy is slowing, questions over the path for U.S. interest-rate increases and political uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump said he would make a "big announcement" about taxes this week, as officials also face a potential U.S. government shutdown on Friday. Delays in implementing the administration's tax reform and fiscal stimulus plans have weighed on the dollar recently.

--Riva Gold and Mike Bird contributed to this article.

Write to Chelsey Dulaney at Chelsey.Dulaney@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 24, 2017 10:41 ET (14:41 GMT)