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Silver Prices Up Nearly 3% This Week Ahead of French Election

Silver prices are ending the week on a whimper, as high prices attracted profit-taking ahead of a French presidential election with major geopolitical implications.

May silver futures fell 6 cents, or 0.4%, to $17.96 a troy ounce at 7:51 a.m. ET. Trading was narrow through the overnight session, with the contract fluctuating between $17.91 and $18.02.

The grey metal is up nearly 3% since last Thursday, the day before markets paused for the Easter long weekend.

June gold futures edged up $1.50, or 0.2%, to 1,285.30 a troy ounce Friday morning.

The U.S. dollar edged higher against a basket of other major currencies through early morning trade. The dollar index, a broad performance measure of the greenback, rose 0.1% to 99.89.

Risk sentiment returned to the financial markets on Friday, as global stocks followed Wall Street’s lead. Japan’s 225-issue Nikkei 225 Index rose 1%. China’s CSI 300 Index advanced 0.1%.

European stocks were also trading slightly higher through the midday. The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index advanced 0.1%, with most of the major bourses finishing higher. However, gains in European markets were subdued as investors turned their attention to a crucial French election.

France will head for the presidential polls on Sunday, mere days after another lone wolf terrorist attack claimed the life of a police officer on Champs Elysees. The attack, which was claimed by Islamic State, could have a major impact on public opinion in a campaign that features a prominent anti-immigration populist intent on closing France’s borders.

Latest polls show far-right leader Marine Le Pen advancing to the second-round run-off election against centrist Emmanuel Macron. France’s multi-stage election goes to a second vote if no candidate secures a majority in the initial round.

Comex Silver Futures (May 2017)