French Elections to Trigger Major Forex Volatility Surge

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Jun 16, 2024, 23:44 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • Macron's snap election call increases uncertainty, causing market turbulence and higher volatility.
  • The EUR/USD pair sees rising volatility, driven by French election instability and fiscal concerns.
  • Investors expect major currency movements as France's election outcomes impact market stability.

Macron’s Election Call Spurs Market Turmoil

With President Macron’s snap election call, France’s political landscape is in turmoil, sending shockwaves through the markets. Investors are now on edge, anticipating significant volatility in the Forex market, especially the EUR/USD pair. This opinion piece explores why the upcoming French elections are set to ignite a surge in Forex volatility.

Political Uncertainty Fuels Market Fears

President Macron’s call for a snap election has injected uncertainty into an already fragile economic environment. The far-right National Rally (RN), led by Marine Le Pen, is leading in opinion polls, raising concerns about fiscal instability. This political shift has already caused a significant sell-off in French bonds and a sharp increase in the premium investors demand to hold French government debt.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has starkly warned of a financial crisis if either the far-right or far-left gains power, due to their heavy spending plans. Historical data shows similar political shocks have led to increased market volatility, as seen in the 2017 elections. This fiscal uncertainty is a key driver of market volatility, as traders and investors grapple with the potential outcomes.

EUR/USD Volatility on the Rise

The EUR/USD pair, the most heavily traded in the Forex market, is highly sensitive to political and economic developments. Recent data shows that volatility in this pair is picking up rapidly, moving from below 5.0 to around 7.0 within a month. This rise in volatility indicates a market bracing for significant moves.

Historical trends reveal that during periods of political instability, such as the Brexit vote, volatility in this pair spiked similarly, underscoring the potential for substantial market movements. The lack of adequate hedging beyond the 1.05-1.10 range further exacerbates the situation. Should one-month volatility surpass recent highs, traders may be forced to adjust their strategies, potentially leading to even greater market swings.

Potential Impact on EUR/USD Pair

The French election turmoil has a direct impact on the EUR/USD pair. A win by the National Rally could lead to policies that increase fiscal stress, driving the euro lower. Le Pen’s proposals include cutting VAT on energy and increasing public spending, which may further weaken the euro and increase volatility.

Additionally, with other major central banks like the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Canada cutting rates, while the Federal Reserve holds steady, the dollar’s relative strength is likely to be bolstered. This further pressures the euro, increasing volatility in the EUR/USD pair.

Investors are likely to seek safe-haven currencies like the US dollar and Swiss franc, adding to the euro’s volatility. This period of heightened activity may present opportunities for traders who can navigate the swings effectively.

Market Forecast

Given the current political and economic climate, a bullish outlook for EUR/USD volatility is anticipated. If the National Rally secures a victory, expect the EUR/USD pair to experience sharp declines, potentially breaking past support levels around 1.05. Conversely, a centrist win might stabilize the euro temporarily, though underlying economic concerns will likely keep volatility elevated.

In conclusion, the political upheaval in France is poised to significantly impact Forex volatility, particularly for the EUR/USD pair. Traders should remain vigilant and adaptable, as the market is poised for substantial movements. Now is the time to prepare for the increased volatility that is likely to unfold in the wake of these elections.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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