Euro gains in early Asia

The euro was quoted higher in early Asia on Monday as centrist Emmanuel Macron matched opinion poll expectations and beat anti-EU far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, easing concerns over a lurch to the right in European politics.

EUR/USD traded at 1.1005, up 0.06%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 112.92, up 0.18%. AUD/USD was last quoted at 0.7412, down 0.09%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted down 0.19% to 98.42.

On Monday, Australia reports building approvals for March with a 4.0% decline seen, and the April NAB business confidence survey with the last reading plus-6, along with the NAB business survey with the last reading plus-14.

China is expected to report trade data with a trade balance surplus of $35.05 billion seen.

Last week, the euro hit its highest level in six months against the U.S. dollar on Friday as optimism over the likely outcome in the French presidential elections offset data showing a rebound in U.S. jobs growth last month.

Euro Market

Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs last month, 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. Markets are pricing in around a 75% chance of a hike at the Fed’s June meeting, according to’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

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 will also be in focus.

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