French Elections – 3 weeks to go

Whilst Brexit moves forward so too does the French election which is now only just over three weeks to go before the first round of voting on 23rd April. This has the potential to be the biggest market mover for Euro exchange rates since August 2015 when Greece was on the cusp of pulling out of the single currency and declaring itself bankrupt over its inability to pay its debt repayments. That of course didn’t happen in the end but the Euro certainly weakened in anticipation of such a gloomy outcome.

At the time the Pound was trading at well over 1.40 for GBP/EUR.

The prospect of a Marine Le Pen victory cannot be ruled out at this stage and so there is likely to be considerable Euro volatility as this hugely important election moves nearer. The combination of Brexit and the French election could be politically explosive for the Euro in these coming weeks.

The markets may price in some of the prospect of a Le Pen win which could see the Euro weaken materially. Clients either buying or selling Euros would be wise to get in touch at this time as these next few weeks could see considerable volatility and potential opportunity.

Presidential candidate Francois Fillon is under further pressure in the electoral race since his wife Penelope (dubbed Mrs Moneypenny by satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchanine) has now also been placed under formal investigation for receiving almost €1 million for work that is claimed was not actually carried out.

Le Pen has also seen members of her team embroiled in a fake job scandal which leaves just Emmanuel Macron unscathed, which is possibly why he is now the favourite to win.

ECB complains to markets

EU Consumer Price Index inflation numbers are released this morning and are expected to remain steady at 0.9%. This will be keenly viewed by the European Central Bank (ECB) to help them decide future monetary policy. The ECB has reportedly been unhappy with what they call a market overreaction from its March meeting after Mario Draghi’s comments were misinterpreted. The Euro in fact rallied after the last meeting although the ECB said the recovery in the Euro was unintended and unwarranted. This is potentially why the Euro is losing some ground at present as the markets realign. Any further comments from the ECB could create further confusion and added volatility in what are already uncertain markets.

With Brexit and the French elections still in the spotlight, Pound to Euro exchange rates are likely to remain volatile in the near term. Speak with a member of our team today on 01494 725 353 if you have an upcoming requirement and would like to remove the uncertainty that lies ahead. You can also contact me directly at jll@currencies.co.uk.

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