Wall Street surges in relief rally after French vote result

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 25, 2017

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron leading the French election results after Sunday's first round calmed investors' worries over a potential breakup of the eurozone or the European Union, analysts said. "But it is clear that over 40 per cent of French electorate voted for anti-Europe candidates", he said.

The French CAC 40 stock index also surged more than 4 percent - to its highest level in almost a decade - following polling that showed Macron likely to win by a landslide in his May 7 runoff against Le Pen.

France's far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen has stepped down as she runs for president.

Abandoning the National Front is likely a desperate attempt by Le Pen to break with the party's extremist past, which stands between her and anti-globalist French voters who aren't xenophobic.

The intervention by her father follows her announcementyesterday that she plans to step back from day-to-day management of the far-right party he founded ahead of the runoff and marks the latest tussle between the two of them over its future direction.

Le Pen and Mélenchon's pro-Russia, protectionist platforms are eerily similar. So far, those candidates have nearly all backed Macron, with one holdout: far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who begrudgingly left the decision to his supporters through his website.

Le Pen is one of the candidates who campaigned against the European Union, but many investors expect Macron ultimately to be victorious.

Risks remain: Not only is there the runoff election for France in two weeks, but there is also a parliamentary election in June. In the current presidential election Republican candidate Francois Fillon and socialist Benoit Hamon have both backed Macron against Le Pen, just as left and right united in 2002 to keep Jean-Marie from winning the presidency.

Mr Melenchon pointedly avoided backing the centrist and the leaders of the Republicans party failed to agree on whether to endorse Mr Macron openly or simply urge supporters not to vote for Ms Le Pen.

Le Pen, visiting the Rungis wholesale market outside Paris on Tuesday, said the French government must promote meat from France.

At 10:54 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 218.84 points, or 1.07 percent, at 20,766.6 and the S&P 500 .SPX was up 24.19 points, or 1.02 percent, at 2,372.88.

Ahead of the vote, surveys suggested Le Pen was faring much better among voters under-25 than among the population at large, often by a margin as high as 7 percentage points.

But her share of the vote was far below a March poll high of 27 per cent.

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