The Frexit Specter Didn't Scare Very Many People

Few investors ever took the risk that France would leave the euro seriously, Sentix index shows
  • Sentix Euro Breakup index falls to 13.6 percent in April
  • Just 3.5 percent of investors think France will leave the euro

Not many people ever really thought France was likely to exit the euro, and even fewer do so now that Emmanuel Macron is ahead in the race to become the nation's president.

That is the upshot of an index published on Tuesday by Sentix that measures how many investors think that at least one country will leave the euro area over the next 12 months. In April, just 13.6 percent expected an exit from the currency bloc.

The reading compares with 18.7 percent a month earlier and 48.5 percent amid the Greek debt crisis in June 2015. A record 73 percent of respondents forecast a split in 2012.

The sub-index for France, based on a survey asking if the country will leave the bloc, fell to 3.5 percent in April from a high of 8.4 percent in February. 

The drop in the headline gauge, compiled by polling 1,055 institutional and retail investors, occurred as centrist Macron pulled ahead in the presidential race, coming in first in the initial round of voting last month. Pro-free trade, pro-European Union Macron is now the frontrunner in the May 7 runoff against nationalist Marine Le Pen, who has said she would begin negotiations on euro exit immediately if elected.

Greece and Italy still lead the list of potential candidates for departure, according to Sentix. They had respective readings of 8.7 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.

(For more economic analysis, see Benchmark)
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