Macron and Le Pen move to second round in French presidency

Yesterday French voters headed to the election polls in the first of the two rounds to elect a new French president. Out of the five candidates running for office it was centralist and pro EU candidate Emmanuel Macron who came out on top with 23.9% of the national vote and far right leader Marine Le Pen coming in second with 21.4% of the vote. France will once again head to the polling booths on May 7th to decide who of these two will take up the French presidency. Polls for the second round have put a 60% probability of centre candidate Macron coming out victorious. Gold and other haven assets sold off on the news whilst the Euro strengthened 1.8% against the dollar as investors’ fears around the election outcome subsided. With the prospect of an extremist party governing France now looking increasingly unlikely it appears to be a risk on environment for European equities.