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Currencies were mostly firmer in Asian trade, helped by an easing US dollar.

The dollar index, a measure of the US currency against a basket of global peers, was fractionally lower at 100.49.

The euro was up 0.1 per cent at $1.0679, eyeing its first three-day winning streak since late January. Investors were weighing the outcome of France’s second presidential debate, in which the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron accused Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader, of wanting to start an “economic war” over her desire to leave the EU and the single currency.

The Japanese yen was flat at ¥110.76 per dollar but at one point yesterday traded at its strongest level since mid-November.

The South Korean won was down 0.1 per cent, trimming declines of as much as 0.3 per cent shortly after the launch of the North Korean missile.

The South African rand was flat at 13.6251 per dollar. On Tuesday, the currency strengthened for the first time in seven sessions despite Standard & Poor’s downgrading the country’s credit rating.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were each up 0.1 per cent, rebounding from heavy falls on Tuesday, with the former, in particular, hit by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s more downbeat tone on the domestic labour market and warning on risky mortgage lending.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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