* Euro steady below 3-week high vs dollar
* Focus on first round of France's presidential election
SINGAPORE, April 21 The euro held steady below a
three-week high against the dollar on Friday as investors
awaited this weekend's first round of voting in France's
The dollar was little changed against a basket of six major
currencies at 99.815, after the latest data on U.S.
jobless claims and business activity in the mid-Atlantic region
did not change traders' views of modest U.S. economic growth and
The euro was flat at $1.0718, after having risen to
as high as $1.0778 on Thursday, its highest level since late
March, as traders shut down broad bets against the common
currency ahead of the French vote on Sunday.
Going into the first round of France's presidential election
moves in the euro will probably be limited to position
adjustment, said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist
for Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
Yamamoto said his baseline scenario is for French centrist
Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen to make it
past the first round in a close vote.
"But if Le Pen were to get past the first round with a wide
lead, the (market) impact could be large," Yamamoto said.
Security concerns took centre stage on Friday in the last
days of France's tight presidential race after a Paris policeman
was shot dead.
Polls suggest the most likely outcome of Sunday's first
round of voting is centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right
candidate Marine Le Pen facing off in the May 7 second round.
Should Macron rank first or second in Sunday's election, he
is seen easily winning the runoff vote on May 7.
However, after surprises in last year's U.S. election and
the UK Brexit referendum, voter indecision and low turnout could
catch markets wrong-footed yet again.
The euro held steady against the yen at 117.10 yen
, staying below Thursday's high of 117.81 yen, which
was the highest since April 10.
The dollar held steady versus the yen at 109.28 yen
after rising 0.4 percent on Thursday.
(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Eric Meijer)