Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Sterling soars, stocks and U.S. dollar fall on geopolitical concern; gold up

In the UK, the Pound had earlier got a lift after Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, called for a June election.

The stakes for investors are high, with two anti-European Union, anti-euro candidates - the far-right Marine Le Pen and the far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon - among the top four.

After the British pound took centre-stage on Tuesday with its second-largest one-day rise since 2008, the Australian dollar was the biggest mover on major currency markets on Wednesday, sliding 0.7% as iron ore prices took a dive.

Germany's DAX was unchanged at around the 12,000-point mark, and Britain's FTSE 100 fell a further 0.2 per cent following Tuesday's 2.5 per cent slide, its biggest fall since June a year ago.

USD/CAD traded at $1.3396, up 0.59%.

The dollar edged up 0.1 per cent to 108.57 yen, while the euro was steady on the day at 1.0732 after riding sterling's coattails to three-week highs overnight.

Concerns about North Korea and the French presidential elections also pressured the dollar against the yen, which is traditionally viewed as a haven for capital in times of political and economic stress. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.81 percent lower, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 0.35 percent.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.68 percent.

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - The euro steadied on Wednesday near a three-week high against a dollar kept weak by lower USA rates and doubts over President Donald Trump's promised fiscal boost.

Oil prices were weighed by concerns that USA production growth is undermining efforts to cut oversupply after a US government report said shale oil output in May was expected to post the biggest monthly increase in more than two years.

United States treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin was quoted saying that Trump is "absolutely not" trying to talk down the strength of the U.S. dollar in Wednesday's edition of the Financial Times, playing down remarks by Trump in an interview last week when he said the dollar was "getting too strong".

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 17/32 in price to yield 2.1912 percent, from 2.252 percent late on Monday.

USA crude CLc1 added 0.1 percent to $52.69 a barrel, after falling 1 percent on Monday, its biggest decline in nearly a month.

Meanwhile, EUR/USD traded at $1.0711 while EUR/GBP added 0.26% to 0.8378, as investors eyed the first round of the French presidential election, scheduled for April 23.

Gold XAU= retreated 0.15 percent to $1,282.24 an ounce early on Tuesday on the dollar's strength.

Ahead of the speculations, Wall Street views it as positive, setting gains for Dow futures up by 0.1 percent and S&P futures adding 0.3 percent.

Copper lost 1.94 percent to $5,581.50 a tonne.

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