GLOBAL MARKETS-Euro, stocks gain ahead of French election; Treasuries slip


(Updates with U.S. markets, changes comments, dateline from
previous LONDON)
    * Wall St boosted by earnings
    * Euro shorts close positions, traders say

    By Rodrigo CamposNEW YORK, April 20 (Reuters) - The euro and stocks on major
markets recovered on Thursday as a market-friendly presidential
candidate held the lead ahead of Sunday's  first-round election
in France, while the yen and U.S. Treasury prices weakened.
    Former French finance minister, Emmanuel Macron, remained
atop the polls for Sunday's French vote, but the election is
still a four-way battle in the first round on April 23. Should
Macron rank first or second in Sunday's poll, he is seen easily
winning the run-off vote on May 7 after remaining candidates are
    However, after surprises in last year's U.S. election and
the UK Brexit referendum, voter indecision and low voter turnout
could catch markets wrong-footed yet again. [nL8N1HR1B4]
    France's CAC stock index <.FCHI> jumped 1.7 percent on its
strongest daily performance since March 1.
    On Wall Street, stocks rose as traders continued to bet on a
strong earnings reporting season. Profits at S&P 500 index
companies are estimated to have risen 11.1 percent in the first
    "As we see a steady stream of earnings, on balance the
season has been better and that's helping the market today,"
said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities
in New York.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 99.16 points,
or 0.49 percent, to 20,503.65, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 10.19
points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,348.36 and the Nasdaq Composite
<.IXIC> added 32.61 points, or 0.56 percent, to 5,895.65.
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> rose 0.25
percent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe
<.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.49 percent.
    Emerging market stocks rose 0.65 percent. MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS>
closed 0.7 percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei <.N225> lost
0.01 percent.

    Currency traders said short-term players were closing out
positions taken in anticipation of euro weakness before the
French election, emboldened by the steady stream of polls
confirming that centrist Macron would lead returns on Sunday.
    "Short euro is still one of the larger positions out there.
No risk on the table means take some of that off," said BMO
strategist Stephen Gallo.
    "(But) there is still no fundamental reason for the euro to
be rising here."
    The U.S. dollar index <.DXY> fell 0.29 percent, with the
euro <EUR=> up 0.56 percent to $1.0769.
    The Japanese yen weakened 0.34 percent versus the greenback
at 109.25 per dollar, while Sterling <GBP=> was last trading at
$1.2828, up 0.40 percent on the day.
    Oil prices fell further after Wednesday's steep losses, with
rising U.S. production weighing against comments from leading
Gulf oil producers that an extension to OPEC-led supply cuts was
likely. [nL3N1HS19K]
    U.S. crude <CLcv1> rose 0.1 percent to $50.49 per barrel and
Brent <LCOcv1> was last at $53.03, up 0.19 percent on the day.
    U.S. Treasury yields rose as investors waited on the results
from the French election, after the 10-year yield earlier failed
to break below key technical resistance at 2.19 percent.
    Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last fell 12/32 in price
to yield 2.2445 percent, from 2.202 percent late on Wednesday.
    Spot gold <XAU=> added 0.2 percent to $1,281.27 an ounce.
U.S. gold futures <GCcv1>  percent to $1,283.40 an ounce.
    Copper <CMCU3> rose 1.43 percent to $5,635.50 a tonne.

French election graphic
Decision Europe Eikon page    cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=72745
World FX rates in 2017
Global assets in 2017
Global bonds dashboard
Global market cap
 (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru, Libby
George and Patrick Graham in London, and Karen Brettell in New
 ((; @rodrigocampos; +1.646.223.6344;
Reuters Messaging:


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