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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks flat, euro down as traders cash in French election bets
May 8, 2017 / 7:51 PM / 7 months ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks flat, euro down as traders cash in French election bets

* Euro hits six-month peak against dollar before falling

* Copper drops to four-month low as Chinese imports slide (Updates prices, comment)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - Stocks were little changed and the euro fell on Monday from highs it touched after pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron’s emphatic and expected victory in France’s presidential election as investors cashed in recent gains.

European equities dipped, with French shares underperforming the wider market after having hit their highest in more than 9 years on Friday.

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 touched a record high before turning slightly negative.

“The (French election) results came in as expected and the market had already factored that in,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

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 fell 2.45 points, or 0.01 percent, to 21,004.49, the S&P 500 lost 1.13 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,398.16 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.76 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6,096.00.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.13 percent while France’s CAC 40 index fell 0.9 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.54 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.77 percent higher.

In currency markets, the dollar index rose 0.46 percent, with the euro down 0.63 percent to $1.0926. The euro earlier touched a six-month high of $1.1024.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.33 percent versus the greenback at 113.11 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.2937, down 0.32 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 global glut of crude, edged up after OPEC hinted there could be an extension to the current production cuts, which expire in June.

U.S. crude rose 0.45 percent to $46.43 per barrel and Brent was last at $49.36, up 0.53 percent on the day.

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

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were last fell 8/32 in price to yield 2.3813 percent, from 2.352 percent late on Friday.

Spot gold was virtually flat at $1,227.60 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.07 percent to $1,227.70 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 Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru, Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss, Richard Leong and Julia Simon in New York; editing by James Dalgleish and Nick Zieminski)

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