Forex – Dollar, euro hold gains in Asia after Paris shooting

Dollar up in Asia – The dollar rose slightly in early Asia on Friday ahead of the first round of the presidential election at the weekend that sent jitters through the markets though the euro held gains as well.

One policeman was killed and two were injured after a gunman opened fire in central Paris on Thursday night.

The shooting took place just before voters head to the polls in a tightly contested presidential race, with centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen leading the pack.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, edged up 0.01% to 99.72.

changed hands at 109.34, up 0.03%, while traded at 0.7515, down 0.15%. was last quoted up 0.03% to 1.0717.

“With political uncertainty still a recurrent theme in Europe, the incredible rebound that the euro has staged may be utilized by longer-term bears to send prices lower,” FXTM Research Analyst Lukman Otunuga said in a note.

Overnight, the dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, weighed by bearish economic data while the euro remained bullish ahead of the first round of the French presidential election.

The dollar remained on track to end the week in negative territory, after bearish economic data weighed on sentiment.

The Labor Department said Thursday, initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended April 15, which was higher than analysts’ forecast of 242,000.

In a separate report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that the Philly Fed manufacturing index rose to a seasonally adjusted 22.0, from 32.8 in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected Philly Fed manufacturing index to rise 25.0.

Elsewhere, the euro continued its march higher against the dollar, despite uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the first round of the French presidential election, scheduled for April 23.

According to Oddschecker, betting market probabilities around the French Presidential election have moved – Odds of a victory for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen or far-left candidate Melenchon are at 24% and 11%, respectfully.

Some analysts warned that a victory for either the far right or the far left candidates would be a set back for the eurozone.

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