French election relief sends markets soaring

European shares open sharply higher and the euro briefly vaults to five-month peaks after the market’s favoured candidate won the first round of the French election, reducing the risk of another Brexit-like shock. Ciara Lee reports.

(REUTERS / EN MARCHE! / AGENCY POOL / NATIONAL FRONT) – Emmanuel Macron supporters not the only ones celebrating Monday (April 24).

European equity markets soaring the day after the French presidential candidate won the first round of the election.

Shares opening sharply higher, and the euro briefly vaulting to five-month peaks.

Sterling fell sharply against the euro with investors piled back into the European currency.

Pro-EU centrist Macron seemingly the market’s favoured candidate.

And he’s now expected to beat right-wing rival Marine Le Pen in the deciding vote in a fortnight.

Easing concerns over her desire to pull Paris out of the EU.

France’s benchmark CAC40 index up almost four percent and bank stocks gaining more than six percent.

That after Asia led the way higher earlier.

Japan’s Nikkei share average touching a three-week high as so-called safe-haven trades were unwound.

Gold, government bonds and the yen all taking a tumble as the appetite for riskier assets crept back in.

Now investors will be hoping they didn’t get ahead of themselves when France returns to the polls on the seventh of May.