Markets split eyeing French vote


LONDON — Eurozone stock markets rose Thursday as investors zoned in on the upcoming French presidential election, while London fell further as the pound rose against the dollar.

Around 1015 GMT, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.1 percent compared with the close on Wednesday. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index gained 0.2 percent and the Paris CAC 40 won 0.9 percent. “The FTSE is weakening once more … as the pound continues its ascent in the wake of (British Prime Minister) Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election,” said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG trading group.

Eyes are on also the first-round vote in the French presidential elections this weekend, with a four-way race making it tough to call on who will go into the runoff. Asian markets steadied Thursday following broad losses the previous two days but they struggled to maintain early momentum as analysts warned caution was prevailing on geopolitical worries and fading hopes for U.S. President Donald Trump’s stimulus drive.

Key Figures at 1015 GMT London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,107.94 points Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 12,034.49 Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.9 percent at 5,049.89 EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,439.93 Tokyo – Nikkei 225: FLAT at 18,430.49 (close) Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.0 percent at 24,056.98 (close) Shanghai – Composite: FLAT at 3,172.10 (close) New York – Dow: DOWN 0.6 percent at 20,404.49 (close) Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.0770 from US$1.0708

Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.2835 from US$1.2772 at 2100 GMT Euro/pound: UP at 83.90 pence from 83.84 Dollar/yen: UP at 109.03 from 108.85 yen Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 35 cents at US$50.79 per barrel Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 41 cents at US$53.34