Fast Asia Open: China trade data, Australia building approvals

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Hear that? It’s the sound of Europe collectively exhaling in relief. Emmanuel Macron has triumphed in France’s presidential election.

As expected, the independent centrist bested far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, clinching 65 per cent of the vote, according to interim results from the interior ministry based on 90 per cent of votes counted.

The Europhile social liberal, brandishing a programme of pro-business reforms coupled with Nordic-style welfarism, fought off the far-right candidate, who wanted to pull France out of the euro, impose protectionist barriers and drastically curb immigration.

And speaking of the single currency, it rose as much as 0.2 per cent against the dollar following Mr Macron’s victory, but is currently off 0.1 per cent at $1.0986. That said, it is up 3.5 per cent over the last month.

In Asia Pacific equities, futures tip Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index and Tokyo’s Topix to climb 1 per cent at the open, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is expected to gain 0.2 per cent when trading begins.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Westpac Banking, Don Quijote, Hamamatsu Photonics, Tokyo Tatemono and Thai Union Group.

The economic calendar for Monday has not a care in the world (all times Hong Kong):

  • 09.30: Australia building approvals, NAB business confidence
  • 13.00: Japan consumer confidence
  • 16.00: Taiwan imports, exports and trade balance
  • China imports, exports and trade balance data are also due out today, as are data on Hong Kong’s foreign exchange reserves.
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