Euro jumps to highest in half a year as French worries fade away

EPA/VALDA KALNINA

Euro jumps to highest in half a year as French worries fade away


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The euro surged to its highest level in six months on Monday after the first round of France’s presidential election turned out completely in line with opinion polls, settling currency market worries of another systemic political shock from next month’s second round.

Investors had worried that far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon would beat Emmanuel Macron, giving voters a choice between two Eurosceptic candidates.

Measures of expected volatility of the euro – driven to their highest in a year by nerves ahead of the vote – collapsed back to relatively normal levels around 8.5 %, pointing to a fall in concern over anti-EU, anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen’s chances next month.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing National Front party, and one of two remaining candidates facing off on May 7, has long disdained the euro as an evil threat to national prosperity.

The euro rose by as much as 2 % after the initial indications from voting gave victory to centrist frontrunner Emmanuel Macron, as predicted by weeks of polling.

The same polls show Macron defeating Le Pen by around 30 percentage points in two weeks time and that will allow players who have hedged – or dumped – their holdings of euro zone assets to buy back in.

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