CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - The euro advanced against its major counterparts in the early European session on Tuesday, after the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron established a clear lead over the far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a televised debate, ahead of the French Presidential election due next month.
Both clashed on issues about immigration, extremism and religion several times, with Macron accusing Le Pen of twisting the truth and 'dividing' society.
According to the poll for the BFMTV broadcaster, 29 percent of French believe Macron has been the most persuasive during the debate.
Market participants cheered the debate outcome, which reduced fears over a victory of anti euro candidate Le Pen in the French elections.
Rising risk appetite also buoyed the currency, as most Asian shares rose after Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans backed two more interest rate hikes this year, reinforcing recent comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that further rate increases would only be 'gradual.'
The euro has been trading in a positive territory in the Asian session.
The euro climbed to an 8-day high of 1.0754 against the Swiss franc, off its early low of 1.0715. Continuation of the euro's uptrend may see it finding resistance around the 1.09 mark.
Data from the Federal Customs Administration showed that Switzerland's trade surplus declined in February as exports decreased amid an increase in imports.
The trade surplus declined to CHF 3.3 billion in February from CHF 4.8 billion in January.
The euro firmed to a 1-1/2-month high of 1.0788 against the greenback, from an early 5-day low of 1.0719. The euro is poised to find resistance around the 1.09 region.
The euro reversed from an early nearly 2-week low of 120.66 against the yen, rising to 121.75. The next possible resistance for the euro-yen pair is seen around the 123.00 level.
Bouncing off from an early low of 0.8675 against the pound, the euro advanced to a 4-day high of 0.8726. On the upside, the euro may target 0.90 as the next resistance level.
Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane said using monetary policy to boost productivity may be ineffective.
'Should monetary policymakers have sacrificed 1.5 million jobs for the sake of an extra 1 or 2 percent of productivity? Hand on heart, I can tell you this one would not knowingly have done so,' he said at the London School of Economics.
The euro strengthened to an 8-day high of 1.4405 versus the loonie, 4-day highs of 1.5337 against the kiwi and 1.4003 against the aussie, after falling to 1.4308, 1.5214 and 1.3875, respectively. The euro is seen finding resistance around 1.47 against the loonie, 1.56 against the kiwi and 1.43 against the aussie.
Looking ahead, U.K. consumer, producer and retail price indexes for February, house price index for January and public sector finance data for February are slated for release shortly.
At 6:00 am ET, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney are expected to participate in a panel discussion about ethics and culture in banking at the Bank of England, in London.
At 7:45 am ET, Federal Reserve Deputy Director for Division of Bank Supervision and Regulation Maryann Hunter will attend American Bankers Association's Government Relations Summit in Washington.
In the New York session, Canada retail sales data is set to be published.
At 12:00 pm ET, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George is expected to speak on the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve before an event hosted by Women in Housing and Finance, in Washington.
At 3:45 pm ET, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri will deliver a speech at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX