Photographer: Charles Platiau/AFP via Getty Images

Your Evening Briefing

Here are today’s top stories for Europe.

The evening briefing will soon be available in your inbox every day. Sign up here.

On the second day of the French presidential runoff campaign, candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen diverged. He laid low ahead of a rally on Wednesday, while she visited a Paris meat market and tried to paint her rival as an out-of-touch elitist. If that sounds reminiscent of the U.S. election, here’s another chilling similarity: Security consultant Trend Micro says the Macron campaign has been the target of repeated cyber-attacks potentially linked to Russian intelligence services. — Andy Reinhardt

Europe’s richest just got $27.5 billion richer, thanks to Macron’s emergence as the front-runner in the French election. Spanish retail mogul Amancio Ortega added $2.7 billion to his fortune as markets surged, again unseating Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the second-richest person in the world.

(L-R) First Daughter and Advisor to the US President Ivanka Trump, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a panel discussion at the W20 women's empowerment summit sponsored by the Group of 20 major economic powers on April 25, 2017 in Berlin. On her first official trip as presidential adviser, Ivanka Trump appeared on a panel with high-powered guests, also including IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, on Women's Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSEN        (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

First Daughter and Advisor to the U.S. President Ivanka Trump, Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a panel discussion at the W20 women's empowerment summit in Berlin.

Photographer: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Realpolitik. In one of the stranger moments of a very strange epoch, U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka shared the stage today at a conference in Berlin about women’s empowerment with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Trump was humble about her new position as a White House adviser. Merkel is said to see the younger Trump as a tempering influence in the administration and potential back-channel conduit to her father. Ivanka drew groans when she defended his attitudes toward women.

A luxury empire grows bigger. French billionaire Bernard Arnault’s LVMH is buying Christian Dior in a $13 billion deal. Purchasing the iconic French fashion house, whose designers have ranged from Pierre Cardin to John Galliano, crowns Arnault’s career as the biggest consolidator in the business. LVMH, 47% controlled by Arnault’s family, already bought Dior perfumes and beauty in the 1960s.

Good news and bad. European investors who shunned London’s commercial property in the run-up to the Brexit referendum are flocking back. The weaker pound and political uncertainty on the continent have attracted buyers for offices, shops and warehouses at more than twice the rate of a year earlier. On the other hand, the number of unsold London homes under construction rose to a record in the first quarter as higher taxes, affordability issues and economic doubts dampen demand for high-end properties.

Kafka goes to Athens. There’s an absurdity to the latest twist in the Greek debt crisis. The indebted nation needs €7 billion ($7.6 billion) of bailout money to repay lenders in a few months, but European nations like Germany refuse to put up more cash until the IMF comes on board. The IMF won’t lend until Germany and others ease Greece’s debt burden. Here’s our attempt to explain.

It’s a fast-food world. Burger giant McDonald’s bucked the restaurant slump and its own recent difficulties to report surprisingly strong same-store gains last quarter, driven in part by a revamped Big Mac. International markets provide about two-thirds of the company’s revenue, and sales in the U.K. and Canada grew far faster than in the U.S.

Russell Benjafield holds his Big Mac burger at a McDonalds restaurant in London, U.K., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. McDonalds Corp., the worlds largest restaurant company, plans to increase its number of Russian outlets by 20 percent this year to capitalize on its fastest growing market in Europe. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Russell Benjafield

Russell Benjafield holds a Big Mac burger at a McDonalds restaurant in London.

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
LEARN MORE