Belfast Telegraph

Euro loses some of shine after highs following Macron's victory

The euro pulled back from six month highs on Monday as investor excitement over Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential elections started to fade.

The European currency rose as high as 1.10 against the US dollar in the wake of Sunday's election results, which saw the centrist candidate defeat far-right hopeful Marine Le Pen with over 65% of French votes.

E nthusiasm started to wane by Monday with the euro trading lower by 0.6% versus the dollar at 1.092 in the afternoon.

The pound was making gains versus the euro, up 0.3% at 1.183, but sterling fell 0.3% against the US dollar to 1.293.

European stock markets slipped into the red, with the French Cac 40 down more than 0.9%, the German Dax dropping nearly 0.2% and the FTSE 100 ending the day flat, up just 3.43 points at 7,300.86.

Jasper Lawler, a senior market analyst at London Capital Group assured that the downward move for stocks was not a personal reflection of Mr Macron's credentials.

"The French election turned out to be a buy the first round, sell the second round affair. French shares fell on Monday with the CAC index down significantly more than other European equity benchmarks.

"It's not disappointment in Macron, who is widely seen as business-friendly but just that the market saw this result coming a mile away.

"The French dip has already been bought."

In oil markets, Brent crude prices slumped 1.3% to 48.75 US dollars per barrel (£37.68), despite reports that Opec and non-Opec members were considering extending production cuts by at least nine months past June.

In UK stocks, shares in British Gas owner Centrica dipped 3.7p to 202.4p after a market update showed that first quarter trading was hit by warmer-than-usual weather, which led to lower energy consumption.

The energy group also said it lost 261,000 customers, but confirmed it would slash a further £250 million in costs and axe 1,500 jobs this year.

Shares in Premier Foods shares gave up earlier gains and closed flat at 43p after renewing an agreement with Mondelez International to produce and market Cadbury-branded cakes and desserts in 46 countries until 2022.

Shares in Sports Direct fell 0.7p to 307p after the company upped its stake in Debenhams from 16.09% to 17.08%, the latest in a series of increases stretching back to 2014.

Boss Mike Ashley's intention in upping his firm's holding has been the subject of speculation, although few expect a takeover offer to be launched.

Debenhams inched higher by 0.05p to 51.85p.

The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Intu Properties up 5.8p to 275.5p, Paddy Power Betfair up 170p to 8,250p, EasyJet up 26p to 1,286p, and Centrica up 3.7p to 202.4p.

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Anglo American down 21p to 1,009.5p, Antofagasta down 15.5p to 753.5p, Smiths Group down 32p to 1,652p, and Convatec Group down 5.5p to 290.5p.

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