The euro briefly rallied to a six-month high against the dollar Monday after pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election eased concerns about the country's future in the eurozone. The single currency touched $1.1023, its highest level since November and up from $1.0998 on Friday after the 39-year-old former investment banker beat far-right rival Marine Le Pen. The vote effectively eliminates any risk of France leaving the single currency bloc -- a departure advocated by the eurosceptic Le Pen.
A new 50-euro note was launched in the 19 eurozone countries on Monday featuring a host of innovative touches designed to make it harder to forge. The new orange-coloured note issued by the European Central Bank incorporates a transparent window featuring a picture of "Europa", a goddess from Greek mythology, on a metallic strip. "This is a very innovative note in terms of security," Bank of France official Gilles Vaysset said during a presentation of the note in Paris.
The euro -- and her fervent wish to withdraw from it -- is a central theme of every stump speech by French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, topping her list of 144 election pledges. Le Pen calls the single European currency a "a knife that you stick in a country's ribs to force it to do what its people don't want to do". The leader of the National Front (FN) blames the euro for driving up prices, hurting exports and adding to France's already colossal trade deficit.