European Stocks Rise With France's CAC 40 as Macron Leads Polls

Pricing the Rise of Melenchon in the French Election

European stocks rose, seeing their biggest two-day jump in three weeks, as polls showed support may be firming up for French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron ahead of Sunday’s first-round vote.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent at the close in London, with cyclical shares including banks, carmakers and construction companies leading gains. France’s benchmark CAC 40 Index rose the most among western-European markets, up 1.5 percent. The Stoxx 600 rebounded Wednesday from its biggest drop in five months.

  • The CAC 40 is “moving higher on the belief that Emmanuel Macron will make it into the final vote this weekend, and as such win the French Presidency in a run off with one or the other of Marine Le Pen or Jean-Luc Melenchon, neither of whom are viewed as particularly market friendly,” Michael Hewson, an analyst at CMC Markets in London, wrote in a note.
  • The first round of the vote could prove key to the entire election process, according to Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Ltd. “While everyone is fixated on the second round on 7 May, there are permutations of the first round vote that could cause extreme moves in markets,” he wrote in a note to clients.
  • Among shares moving on corporate news, Pandora A/S rose 5 percent after keeping its 2017 outlook and saying it’s updating its financial reporting structure.
  • Real estate shares and utilities, considered bond-proxies, fell the most as bond yields advanced.
  • Among U.K. shares, the FTSE 250 Index of mid-cap firms is eclipsing the exporter-heavy FTSE 100 Index by the most on record, as measured by the absolute spread between the two equity gauges.
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