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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Iran's stock exchange and currency markets reacted positively to early election results showing moderate candidate Hasan Rowhani taking a wide lead.

The stock exchange index improved by 2 percent while Iran's national currency, the rial, strengthened by 9 percent against the U.S. dollar.

A report posted on the website of the Tehran Stock Exchange said its index improved by 952 points, to 46,623 on Saturday from 45,671 on Wednesday.

The dollar was trading at 33,900 rials in foreign currency shops, compared to 36,300 rials Thursday.

The Rial has lost more than half of its value over the past year, mainly due to the government's economic mismanagement and Western oil and banking sanctions that have deeply cut into Iran's foreign exchange revenues.