Emmanuel Macron is within striking distance of a historic re-election as French president after clinching a first-round lead against his far-right nemesis Marine Le Pen. Investors should be relieved, but not complacent. Round two on April 24 will be a close-run affair.
Early results show France’s establishment parties in tatters. An increasingly fragmented electorate is looking for new answers after Covid-19 and the Ukraine war expanded the reach of the state’s protective umbrella without banishing fears over higher inflation.