Band Tom Westbrook
SINGAPORE, April 11 (Reuters) – The euro got off to a strong start to the week on investor relief that incumbent President Emmanuel Macron led the vote in the first round of the French presidential election, while other moves were light ahead of central bank meetings in Europe, Canada and New Zealand.
euro EUR=EBS briefly hovered as high as $1.0955 in the early hours of the Asian session, before settling around 0.15% higher than Friday’s close at $1.0890. It was also firmer on the pound. EURGBP= and the yen EURJPY=.
With 88% of the votes counted, Macron garnered 27.41% and his far-right challenger Marine Le Pen was next with 24.9%.
They will contest a second round on April 24. Macron’s lead has given markets wary of Le Pen’s protectionism some confidence, even as he no longer advocates abandoning the euro, although gains were capped ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank.
“It’s uneven support,” said Westpac strategist Imre Speizer, as investors also grapple with an ECB that likely won’t look as aggressive as the Federal Reserve in tackling inflation.
“I think the bigger story of the two central banks being quite different is probably quite supportive for the US dollar in the long run,” he said.
The US dollar index =USD topped 100 for the first time in nearly two years on Friday, and held steady at 99.805 in morning trade. Against the Japanese currency JPY=EBS the dollar was firm and buying 124.32 yen.
The ECB weighed rising consumer prices against the pressure on growth from the war in Ukraine. He is expected to give more details on a reduction in asset purchases on Thursday, but may not give other explicitly hawkish signals.
Central bank meetings are also scheduled in Canada and New Zealand on Wednesday and interest rate swap prices indicate traders see more than a 90% chance that each will raise rates by 50 basis points. BOCWATCH, RBNZWATCH
This could leave both currencies vulnerable if a lower rate hike is realized.
The New Zealand dollar USD=D3 fell 0.2% to $0.6836, while the Canadian dollar CAD=D3 held at C$1.2583 per greenback.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar AUD=D3 also declined 0.2% to $0.7447 as gains in commodity currencies begin to fade further with a pullback in export prices. Sterling GBP=D3 held at $1.3026.
Bid rates for currencies at 0015 GMT
Closing of the previous session
Percentage change since the beginning of the year
New Zealand Dollar/Dollar
All spots FX=
Tokyo spots AFX=
Spots of Europe EFX=
BOJ Tokyo Forex Market Information TKYFX
World exchange rateshttps://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
(Reporting by Tom Westbrook. Editing by Sam Holmes)
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