The euro was supported by news that French President Emmanuel Macron won a majority in Sunday’s legislative elections. Sterling was steady ahead of the start of Brexit talks in Brussels today.
In terms of economic data, Japan had a surprise trade deficit in May. The overall trade balance was -203.4 billion yen last month, missing the 76.0 billion yen surplus expected and was below the prior 481.7 billion yen surplus.
The yen weakened after the Japanese data. This helped the dollar bounce slightly to 111.19 yen, to recover some of Friday’s losses on the back of disappointing US data that took the pair down to 110.63 yen. The dollar index traded to as low as 97.11 in Asia. Data on Friday showed US homebuilding declined for a third month in May to the lowest in eight months, while another report showed consumer sentiment in the US unexpectedly dropped in early June. The market’s focus today will be on a speech by New York Fed President William Dudley who kicks off a busy week of Fed speeches.
The euro was steady against the dollar, not making any notable moves despite news that President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move (REM) party is heading for a victory following the final round of the legislative elections in France that took place last Sunday. This should give him a powerful mandate to push through pro-business reforms, which is seen as positive for the euro. The single currency tested the key $1.1200 level and traded within a range in Asia, between $1.1188 and $1.1204.
Sterling traded in a range against the dollar during the Asian session, between $1.2758 and $1.2783. Investors are being cautious as the Brexit negotiations are due to being in Brussels today. The UK’s Brexit Secretary David Davis will be meeting the EU’s negotiator Michel Barnier. In the aftermath of the UK elections which resulted in Prime Minister Theresa May losing her majority government, it would be interesting to see if her hard Brexit stance will prevail or if the UK will aim for a soft Brexit.
In commodities, spot gold touched a 3-1/2-week low in the Asian session, reaching $1,249.65 an ounce. WTI oil futures lingered near six-week lows and continued to trade below $45 a barrel on concerns of a global supply glut.