Daily Afternoon Report 06.02.2017

The euro weakened on Monday as concerns over the possibility of a Brexit or Trump-style shock result in France’s presidential election refocused investors’ attention back to the political risks facing the euro zone.

EUR/USD fell to intra-day lows of 1.0709 and was last at 1.0721, off 0.57% for the day.

The move lower in the euro came after Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right National Front party, launched her presidential bid on Sunday with promises to exit the euro zone and protect France against globalization.

Polls have shown that conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon lost his position as favorite to win the election to centrist Emmanuel Macron after his campaign became embroiled in a fake-job scandal.

The single currency shrugged off data showing that German factory growth hit a two-and-a-half year high in January, with factory orders jumping by 5.2%. It was the strongest increase since January 2014.

Another report showed that investor sentiment in the euro area deteriorated slightly in February, amid concerns that the Trump administration’s policies will act as a drag on global growth.

The euro was also weaker against the pound, with EUR/GBP down 0.5% to 0.8598.

Meanwhile, sterling was lower against the firmer dollar, with GBP/USD sliding 0.15% to 1.2465 as a parliamentary debate on a law giving Prime Minister Theresa May the right to trigger Brexit proceedings got underway.

The U.S. dollar steadied against a currency basket on Monday after data on Friday showing a slowdown in U.S. wage growth in January dampened expectations for a faster rate of interest rate hikes this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.39% to 100.06.