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Focus for 8 - 12 May 2017: Emanuel Macron’s victory in the French Presidential Elections

The Euro advanced against most major counterparts through trade on Friday and opens this morning higher as relief washed over the market in the wake of Emanuel Macron’s victory in the French Presidential Elections. The expected victory of Macron would be taken by markets as a sign that political risk in Europe is receding.

On the economic front, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in April, beating expectations for a gain of 185,000 and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4%, a near a 10-year low. The report also showed that the prior month’s figure of 98,000 was revised down to an even lower 79,000. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in April. However, downward revisions to previous months lowered the year-on-year increase to 2.5%, the smallest gain since August 2016, from 2.6% in March. The jobs data did little to alter the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June.

The outcome of the French presidential elections is likely to set the tone in financial markets this week. Investors will also be looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. data on inflation and retail sales to gauge if the economy is on a strong enough footing for another rate hike as soon as next month. Monetary policy meeting in the UK and New Zealand (on Thursday) will also be in focus. In addition, investors may observe the development of the meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 nations in Italy on Friday.

Fi24h Editorial Board
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