France’s two presidential candidates go head-to-head.

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen faced off in the first head-to-head televised debate of the campaign on Wednesday. The debate served to highlight the stark differences in their visions for the future of their country. Macron underlined security and tackling terror as a priority, accusing Le Pen of being complacent about the subject, while Le Pen accused Macron of being 'the candidate of savage globalisation'. He responded by referring to Le Pen as 'the high priestess of fear'. The pair also clashed on the future of the EU. Le Pen said she would call for an in-out referendum on EU membership, restoring France's national currency and giving companies and banks an option on which currency to pay in, however Macron thought this idea was 'nonsense'. Overall, it appeared Macron cemented his position as front-runner in the debate, as he was generally regarded as the most convincing candidate. European equity markets and the currency are up, reflecting a generally optimistic tone.