May 8, 2017 / 12:03 AM / 3 years ago

Euro off as traders cash in French election bets; stocks flat

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks were little changed on Monday and the euro fell from a six-month high hit after pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France’s presidential election, as traders cashed in recent gains.

French shares underperformed other European markets after having hit on Friday their highest in more than 9 years.

The euro fell the most against the dollar since late March, having risen in overnight trade to just above $1.10 when opinion polls signaled the scale of Macron’s victory over anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended at a fresh record high after edging up less than a point at the close. The CBOE Volatility Index closed at 9.77, its lowest since December 1993.

“We remain largely constructive of the equity market and view that the path of least resistance is higher,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at Private Client Group of U.S. Bank.

World stocks, as measured by MSCI’s 46-country world index, hit a record high and the main measure of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan rose 0.8 percent.

Shares resumed trading in Tokyo after a three-day market holiday. The Nikkei closed up 2.3 percent at a 17-month high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.34 points, or 0.03 percent, to end at 21,012.28, the S&P 500 gained 0.09 point to 2,399.38 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.90 points, or 0.03 percent, to 6,102.66.

FILE PHOTO: A trader works at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.13 percent while France’s CAC 40 index fell 0.91 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.70 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.82 percent higher.

In currency markets, the dollar index rose 0.53 percent, with the euro down 0.69 percent to $1.0919. The euro earlier touched a six-month high of $1.1024.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.46 percent versus the greenback at 113.28 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.2934, down 0.35 percent on the day.

“A Macron win is largely priced into the euro,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto. “Heavy trading in the spot market so far today suggests a modest unwind of the April and May rally is coming, at least.”

Oil prices, which hit almost six-month lows last week on worries about a persistent global glut, edged up after OPEC hinted there could be an extension to current production cuts, which expire in June.

U.S. crude rose 0.54 percent to $46.47 per barrel and Brent was last at $49.39, up 0.59 percent on the day.

U.S. Treasury yields rose, with the benchmark yield at a five-week high in advance of the sale of $62 billion in bond supply at this week’s quarterly refunding and following Macron’s victory.

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Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were down 10/32 in price to yield 2.3868 percent, from 2.352 percent late on Friday.

Spot gold dropped 0.1 percent to $1,226.16 an ounce. U.S. gold futures fell 0.05 percent to $1,226.30 an ounce.

Copper lost 1.77 percent to $5,486.15 a tonne as Chinese trade data showed April imports of the metal dived 30 percent from March.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos in New York; Additional reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Richard Leong and Julia Simon in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and James Dalgleish

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