Asian Stocks, Euro Applaud Macron’s First-Round, French-Vote Win
- Asian stocks were the first to greet the French Presidential vote’s first-round result
- Emmanuel Macron won, with Marine Le Pen coming in second
- The two now face a runoff on May 7, with the former tipped to win
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Most Asia/Pacific stock markets climbed on Monday as investors breathed a sigh of relief at the French presidential vote’s first round.
Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron emerged as the most likely eventual leader. He is an ex banker, pro-EU and went through to May 7’s final round along with anti-euro, National Front leader Marine Le Pen who came in second.
However Macron’s win makes him the front-runner in next month’s clincher, even if it also marked a terrible night for the French political establishment as neither of the two formerly dominant center-left and center right groupings sent candidates through.
The Nikkei 225 rose by 1.4% at the close, with Australia’s ASX and South Korea’s Kospi also up, if not quite so much. Mainland Chinese stocks missed the party, reportedly on news that regulators were delving more deeply into corporate debt.
The euro made a five-month high against the US Dollar on Macron’s win. EUR/USD got up to $1.0940 in Asian trade but pared those gains into the Asian close. The euro’s gains gave the Dollar index a knock, but the greenback was nevertheless up against the Yen. Rising US Treasury yields and a tougher day all round for perceived haven assets saw the Japanese currency sag and USD/JPY get above 110 for the first time in nearly two weeks of trade.
Gold prices made two-week lows as the “safety” of the French result sapped demand. Meanwhile crude oil prices rose. A modest fightback from last week’s losses was reportedly driven by expectations that production cuts from traditional producers would be extended, although a continuing rise in US drilling operations kept a lid on gains.
The rest of the global session offers investors precious little scheduled economic news likely to deflect them from contemplating the next occupant of the Elysee Palace, France’s Presidential residence. However, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is due to speak and answer question in Los Angeles.
He’s a voting member of the Federal Open Markets Committee this year and argued against the Fed’s March interest-rate increase.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.