Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

Your Evening Briefing

Here are today’s top stories for Europe.

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With just four days to go until the first round of the French presidential election, pollsters are baffled by a close and unprecedented four-way race. Today’s insights: Front-runner Emmanuel Macron has been a precocious over-achiever since his high-school years; far-left up-and-comer Jean-Luc Melenchon scares wealthy voters so much, some talk of leaving the country if he wins. Our special report has all the latest news, polling and data you need. — Andy Reinhardt

And they’re off. A day after her surprise call for early general elections, British Prime Minister Theresa May won the support of Parliament for the snap vote on June 8. May implored the public to “make me stronger” by backing the Conservative Party. Her wager is that a stronger Tory majority will buy her time and wiggle room to hash out the tricky Brexit negotiations ahead.

Europeans are buying cars again. Sales surged in March to their highest since 2008, as a stronger economy lifted consumer confidence. Fiat Chrysler and Renault gained market share at the expense of Volkswagen and France’s PSA. The rebound in sales since a 2013 low may lose steam as more consumers opt for car-sharing and other alternatives to owning their own vehicles.

A pedestrian passes a giant poster for Burberry, posted on theoutside of their store on New Bond Street in London, U.K. on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. Bank of England Deputy Governor Charles Bean yesterday cautioned lawmakers against putting too much weight on positive signs in the economy. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

A pedestrian passes a giant poster for Burberry, posted outside its store on New Bond Street in London.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Ailing market. Burberry’s fourth-quarter sales rose 2 percent but missed analyst estimates due to a decline in the U.S., which accounts for a quarter of revenue. Incoming CEO Marco Gobbetti faces a challenge to fix the fashion seller’s American problem without resorting to discounting that would undercut its upscale brand. Bloomberg Gadfly highlights the uneven global luxury revival.

Where are London financiers moving after Brexit? Banks are already starting to move employees, though an official divorce from the EU is still two years away. The stakes are high: finance and related professional services bring in about £190 billion a year, or 12% of the British economy. Bookmark our tracker to keep abreast of where the jobs are going.

Russia’s Fannnie Mae. Vladimir Putin is taking a page from the U.S. housing market to boost home ownership, setting up a so-called “mortgage factory” to bundle loans with state backing. Attracting investors to Russia’s 4.5 trillion ruble ($80 billion) mortgage market should help drive down borrowing costs and spur construction of better-quality housing.

Got the munchies? If you’re craving something greasy, salty, cheesy or chewy after an evening out, here are the greatest late-night snacks from around the world, chosen by 15 of the world’s top chefs. The list includes regional delights such as Swedish hotdogs, French onion soup dripping with toasted Gruyere, and many, many, fried things.

Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha

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