Early results from the French presidential election pushed the euro in early trading on Sunday to its highest level since November 11, 2016. At the open of the Asian currency trading session, the EUR/USD exchange rate hit a 5-month high of 1.09238 - 1.85 percent higher than Friday’s close at 1.07231:
The euro strengthened considerably against the U.S. dollar when the French Interior Ministry vote counts showed pro-EU, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron in the lead with more than 23 percent of the vote.
Optimism among investors and market participants increased even further when rival candidates from the establishment parties - Benoit Hamon, Bernard Cazeneuve and Francois Fillon - urged their supporters to back Macron, saying Le Pen’s anti-EU policies will have very negative consequences for France.
In a victory speech, Macron said:
"I want to be the president of patriots in the face of a threat from nationalists."While Marcon’s victory has energized his base, the 39-year-old ex-banker and political novice still needs to overcome the National Front’s Marine Le Pen in the runoff election during the next two weeks, to become the youngest leader of France since Napoleon.
And as Reuters reports, a new servey by Harris puts the likelyhood of Macron becoming the next French president at 64 percent.
Other major national currencies also posted significant gains due to Macron’s victory on Sunday; the Japanese yen traded as high as 110.631 against the USD - 1.44 percent higher than Friday’s rate; the Australian dollar jumped 0.4 percent against the USD; the British pound jumped higher by 0.26 percent.
EU banknote photo by Images Money