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The euro fell for the first time in five days against the yen amid concern French presidential elections and Dutch government turmoil will disrupt efforts to stem the region’s sovereign-debt crisis. In France, Hollande won 28.6 percent of the vote yesterday, versus 27.2 percent for Sarkozy, the interior ministry said in Paris. The anti-euro National Front, led by Marine Le Pen, got 18.1 percent of the vote. The second ballot is on May 6. Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte offered to quit, a move that would trigger early elections, after losing the support of Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party over a disagreement on budget cuts needed to steer the nation clear of the debt crisis. Queen Beatrix will consider the offer, the government information service said. The 17-nation currency stayed weaker after London-based Markit Economics said today a euro-area composite index based on a survey of manufacturing and services purchasing managers dropped to 47.4 in April from 49.1 in March. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
The yen rose against all of its 16 most-traded peers as France’s Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, who has called for more European Central Bank action, captured more of the first-round presidential ballot than incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, boosting demand for haven assets.
The U.S. dollar gained versus most major peers on bets that data tomorrow will show the U.S. economy is growing, reducing chances the Federal Reserve will expand monetary easing. The government may say new-home purchases rose 1.6 percent in March.
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