French Presidential candidate Francois Fillon under stress to give up over ‘fake jobs’ scandal
EURUSD traded below 1.07500 in the early European market after mixed economic messages came out of Europe. German factory orders made in December beat on the upside. They came in at a big 5.2% m/m vs. 0.7% expected and a downwardly revised -3.6% in November. On an annual basis orders grew by 8.1% vs. 4.2% (exp). Also, there was and a downwardly revised prior month of 2%.
The Markit Euro-Zone retail PMI (January) however edged lower to 50.1. This coming from a prior month’s 50.4, still just in expansion territory, but pointing to consumer belt-tightening in the 28-country zone. German sales fell to 50.3 from 52. Meanwhile France provided the only real positive with retail sales jumping to 53.4 from December’s 50.1.
And the latest Euro-Zone Sentix Investor Confidence did little to buy the euro despite beating market speculations. The February figure came in at 17.4 vs. 16.8 but was still lower than January’s reading of 18.2.
France Politics further Complicate the Euro
The Euro currency was also under pressure from the ongoing political cataclysm in France, ahead of the French presidential elections in last week-April. Centre-right candidate, and former Prime minister, Francois Fillon, is under a huge scandal after allegations that he paid his wife and two of his children around EUR900,000 of public money for work that they did not perform. Fillon, widely tipped to win the race, is said to be making a speech at 16:00GMT, where he is expected to pull out of the race.
Centrist candidate Emanuel Macron is currently expected to win the Presidential race, due to Fillon`s scandal; ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen who has wants to take France out of the European Union and put ‘France First’ in areas such as housing and employment.