Asia markets close higher on a strong US finish, markets focused on France – CNBC

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A passerby walks in front of a stock indicator at the window of a security company in Tokyo on March 31, 2017.

Asia markets were mostly higher on Friday after a strong session in the U.S. amid caution following a suspected terrorist shooting in Paris ahead of the first round of the presidential election at the weekend.

One policeman was killed and two were injured after a gunman opened fire in central Paris on Thursday night.

The shooting took place just before voters head to the polls in a tightly contested presidential race, with centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen leading the pack ahead of the first round of voting with none of the candidates expected to command the 50 percent needed to win outright, leading to a second round runoff on May 7.

Either way, the result of the election is unlikely to result in France leaving the European Union, Mizuho Bank Senior Economist Vishnu Varathan said in a Friday morning note.

“A Le Pen victory this round is quite far removed from ‘Frexit’ risks … (E)ven if Le Pen makes president, establishing supporters among lawmakers to even get a ‘Frexit’ referendum off the ground is a long way off. Simply put, ‘Frexit’ is not an imminent risk in any case.”

Euro/dollar eased to trade at $1.0724, higher than the $1.06 levels seen earlier this week. It had earlier climbed to a one-month high of $1.0777.

One analyst, however, said that investors should not associate resilience in the currency with changing sentiment.

“With political uncertainty still a recurrent theme in Europe, the incredible rebound that the euro has staged may be utilized by longer-term bears to send prices lower,” FXTM Research Analyst Lukman Otunuga said in a note.

Investors were also focused on fresh comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that tax reform plans could be unveiled soon.

Asia markets close higher on a strong US finish, markets focused on France – CNBC}