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World's Foreign-Exchange Traders Suddenly Have Taste for French Dressing

Image: World's Foreign-Exchange Traders Suddenly Have Taste for French Dressing
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Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 11:47 AM Current | Bio | Archive

It’s really interesting to discover how, all of a sudden, the world’s foreign exchange dealers are apparently experts in French politics.

It is doubtful as to how many of the world’s foreign exchange dealers are capable of speaking French, let alone able to capture all the language-finesse used in that debate, but let’s not get bogged down in that kind of detail.

Anyway, the euro has strengthened in the wake of the three and a half hours of Monday’s French presidential debate.

The main reason for this are, unsurprisingly, the opinion polls of which to a poll from Elabe for BFM TV shows have that the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron got 29 percent of the preferences and the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen got only 19 percent.

Now, so far at least, Macron looks on track to claim the French presidency by defeating Le Pen in a second-round vote on May 7.

If that were to be the case, which is of course not sure at all, investors should take care because a Macron victory would not guarantee smooth political sailing for France for the very and at the same time very complicated reason that Macron's independent party is not a mainstream political party and therefore it could have to struggle to enact legislation.

The positive side with Macron as president would be that a French referendum on euro membership should be completely off the table, and which would be completely the opposite from what would happen under the alternate scenario of Le Pen taking office.

Nevertheless, at least I think, the currency move of the euro tells us more about the foreign exchange markets than it does about the French political outlook.

Nonetheless, on a day when we had a fair dose of politics on both sides of the Atlantic, the reaction of the foreign exchange markets is perhaps an indication that the dollar is struggling to maintain its too high level, especially when we look at it compared to the euro that on its purchasing power valuation shows an under-valuation compared to the dollar of close to 20 percent.

There is also a flurry of politics in the UK with the pre-announcement of the announcement of the filing of the divorce papers that heralds the start of Britain’s long goodbye from the European Union (EU). March 29 is the date when article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be invoked. There are those who think it would have been more appropriate to wait till the subsequent Saturday.

It is now over to the rest of the EU to decide how they wish to respond to being cut off from the UK.

In the meantime, we got the UK inflation data that came in at 2.3 percent, which is the highest rate since September 2013 and which is well above the Bank of England’s (BOE) inflation target of 2 percent.

It’s interesting to see that UK’s inflation follows the same trend as Germany's producer price inflation, that came in at 3.1 percent, which was a 5-year high.

Euro area inflation and German inflation and now UK inflation have tended to surprise to the upside as of lately.

Etienne "Hans" Parisis is a bank economist who has advised global billionaires and governments on the financial markets and international investments.

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It’s really interesting to discover how, all of a sudden, the world’s foreign exchange dealers are apparently experts in French politics.
World, Foreign Exchange, Traders, France
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2017-47-21
Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 11:47 AM
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