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.
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.
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.—AFP