Sterling is continuing to rise after MPs voted for a general election

Sterling is continuing to rise after MPs voted for a general election

Sterling is continuing to rise after MPs voted for a general election

It then saw a broadly flat day on Wednesday as parliament voted to approve the election, but has begun to pick up again on Thursday, gaining more than 0.3% on the dollar in morning trading to hit $1.2825, matching highs not seen since October 2016.

"The movements you have seen over the past couple of weeks has been just a slow loss of some confidence that this is headed in the direction it seemed to be right after the election".

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 previous year.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was 0.15 percent lower. All three major indexes .DJI .SPX .IXIC advanced about 0.9 percent overnight.

The dollar index traded near three-week lows today, dragged down by a resurgent sterling after British Prime Minister Theresa May called for an early general election ahead of Brexit negotiations.

"The way the market is reading it, it is viewed as something that creates a more stable political outlook for Brexit to happen, which in itself is viewed as a positive", said Alvise Marino, FX strategist at Credit Suisse in NY.

Against the yen, the dollar was hovering at 108.65 having been as low as 108.39 earlier.

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.

Strategists said if it were not for dollar weakness the euro would be showing greater sensitivity to the political risks surrounding Sunday's first-round election.

Conversely, US index futures expects the S&P 500 to record 2,244 at the opening bell in NY trading, recovering just 2 of the 7 points lost in the recent session. USA homebuilding fell in March, and manufacturing output dropped for the first time in seven months.

US crude CLcv1 fell 0.06 percent to $52.62 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $55.09, down 0.49 percent on the day.

Safe-haven bonds also held onto most of their recent gains ahead of presidential elections in France and on escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Gold rose and was not far from an intraday five-month high touched on Monday, bolstered by the weaker dollar, North Korea tensions and the French presidential election.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 20/32 in price to yield 2.1824 percent, from 2.252 percent late on Monday. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.6 percent at 5,804.00. The Dow fell 0.55 per cent on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 lost 0.29 per cent and the Nasdaq 0.12 per cent.

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

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