CANBERA (Alliance News) – The euro retreated from early highs against its major rivals in the European session on Friday, weighed by a terror attack in Paris before the crucial French Presidential election on Sunday.
An Elabe poll for BFM TV and L’Express magazine found that centrist Emmanuel Macron leads the first round of election with 24%, while far-right leader Marine Le Pen scored 21.5%. Conservative candidate Francois Fillon and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchonon gained 20% and 19.5% of votes, respectively.
Even as Marcon hold onto lead, the gap between the other three front runners are narrowing, making the outcome too close to call.
Sentiment was hurt by the news of terrorist attack in Paris, where a French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded ahead of the first round vote in the most uncertain election in recent French history.
In economic front, survey results from IHS Markit showed that Eurozone private sector growth hit a fresh six-year high in April.
The flash composite output index rose unexpectedly to 56.7 in April from 56.4 in March. Economists had forecast the score to remain unchanged at 56.4.
Meanwhile, German private sector expanded strongly in April, despite slower rises in both manufacturing output and services activity.
The flash composite output index dropped to 56.3 in April from March’s six-year high of 57.1.
The euro held steady against its major rivals in the Asian session, with the exception of the Swiss franc.
Reversing from an early high of 1.0738 against the greenback, the euro dropped to a 3-day low of 1.0691. Continuation of the euro’s downtrend may see it challenging support around the 1.05 region.
The single currency slipped to 116.69 against the yen, off its early high of 117.31. The euro is seen finding support around the 115.00 mark.
Figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan’s tertiary activity index increased at a slower-than-expected pace in February, after falling in the previous two months.
The tertiary activity index rose 0.2% month-over-month in February, reversing a 0.2% drop in January. Economists had expected a 0.3% climb for the month.
The common currency declined to a 2-day low of 1.0679 against the Swiss franc, from a high of 1.0710 hit at 11:45 pm ET. If the euro’s extends fall, 1.05 is possibly seen as its next support level.
The euro eased back to 0.8355 against the pound, after having advanced to 0.8386 at 4:30 am ET. The currency had already set a 2-day low of 0.8354 at 4:00 am ET. On the downside, 0.82 is likely seen as the next support level for the euro-pound pair.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that retail sales including automotive fuel decreased 1.8% month-on-month in March, reversing a 1.7% rise in February. Sales were forecast to fall moderately by 0.5%.
Excluding auto fuel, retail sales volume declined 1.5%, in contrast to a 1.6% rise a month ago and bigger than the expected 0.5% drop.
The 19-nation currency dropped to 2-day lows of 1.4194 against the aussie and 1.4401 against the loonie, from its previous highs of 1.4262 and 1.4453, respectively. The next possible downside target for the euro may be found around 1.38 against the aussie and 1.43 against the loonie.
Pulling away from an early high of 1.5337 against the kiwi, the euro weakened to 1.5259. The euro is poised to target support around the 1.50 area.
Looking ahead, at 7:45 am ET, the Bank of England member Michael Saunders speaks at the Federation of Small businesses in London.
In the New York session, Canada consumer prices for March, Markit’s US manufacturing PMI for April and US existing home sales for March are set for release.
At 9:30 am ET, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks at the Community Economic Development Symposium, in St. Paul.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX