Stocks build on French election-induced surge


AFP

LONDON — Stock markets mostly rose Tuesday following the previous session’s record runs triggered by the first-round result of France’s presidential election.

Global shares had soared Monday after centrist Emmanuel Macron topped the initial polls and looked well on course to beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a run-off next month.

The euro on Monday jumped to US$1.0937 — the highest level for nearly six months, while Frankfurt’s stock market and Nasdaq closed at record peaks. “Markets have continued their push higher from yesterday, although at a much more relaxed pace,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG trading group.

“The immediate impact of Macron’s first-round success is wearing off, but the relief is still palpable among investors. The FTSE 100 has managed a small gain this morning despite a downgrade to its heavyweight mining sector by Goldman Sachs.” Around 1015 GMT, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent compared with Monday’s close. ‘Amiable scenario’ Frankfurt’s DAX 30 was flat having rallied 3.4 percent Monday to close at a record high, while the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent after closing up 4.1 percent in the week’s first trading session. In Asia on Tuesday, the Tokyo and Seoul stock markets each jumped more than one percent and Hong Kong won 1.3 percent. Shanghai, which has suffered a series of losses in the past two weeks on concerns about a Chinese government crackdown in leveraged investing, ended up 0.2 percent. “With the market pricing in an amiable scenario for risk assets in the second round (of the French election), investors should continue to feed off this,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda trading group. Now attention moves to the United States where U.S. President Donald Trump is due Wednesday to unveil his much-vaunted tax overhaul, which will reportedly call for cuts to personal and corporate rates. Trump’s pledge to slash taxes and boost infrastructure spending were key drivers of a global market rally after his November election, though the past few weeks have seen a retreat as he failed to pass health care legislation, throwing his agenda into doubt. Investors globally had been fearful that a wave of populism, which swept Trump into the White House and saw Britain vote to leave the EU, could lead to a win for the anti-European Le Pen and put the future of the bloc in doubt. However, Macron is widely expected to gallop to victory, a view that helped major U.S. stock indices to gain more than one percent Monday. Key figures at 1015 GMT London – FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,280.50 points Frankfurt – DAX 30: FLAT at 12,454.62 Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.2 percent at 5,281.03 EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,582.76 Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.1 percent at 19,079.33 (close) Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.3 percent at 24,455.94 (close) Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 3,134.57 (close) New York – Dow: UP 1.1 percent at 20,763.89 (close) Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.0877 from US$1.0867 at 2100 GMT Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.2806 from US$1.2793 Dollar/yen: UP at 110.41 yen from 109.78 yen Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 14 cents at US$51.74 per barrel Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 12 cents at US$49.35