Paris stocks, euro gain on Macron vote result

2. France
French President and liberal party La Republique en Marche candidate for re-election Emmanuel Macron (center) as he meets residents during a one-day visit of Hauts-de-France, at the city hall in Denain, northern France, on April 11, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
LONDON — The Paris stock market and the euro rose on Monday, with investors soothed by French President Emmanuel Macron’s election performance.اضافة اعلان

Frankfurt and London equities however followed Asian exchanges lower, with sentiment souring on flat UK economic growth.

Wall Street opened on the downside as traders looked ahead to inflation data due out on Tuesday, growth worries and the prospect of more aggressive US interest rate hikes.

Oil prices tumbled more than five percent at one point on Chinese demand fears arising from COVID-19 lockdowns, and on dimming hope of a European embargo on Russian crude, dealers said.

“It is above all the bad news from China that is weighing on prices, as the number of COVID cases continues to surge,” said Commerzbank analyst Barbara Lambrecht.

Shanghai eased restrictions on some neighborhoods on Monday after mounting outcry over China’s inflexible COVID-19 rules, which locked down 25 million people.

“The lockdowns that are slowing oil demand in the world’s second-largest consumer country threaten to persist for even longer,” added Lambrecht.

‘Solid result’

Macron topped France’s first-round presidential vote on Sunday, leading far-right rival Marine Le Pen by a larger-than-expected margin.

Emmanuel Macron won 27.85 percent of votes in the first round of France’s presidential election, while far-right leader Marine Le Pen scored 23.15 percent, according to final results.

“A solid result for incumbent Emmanuel Macron ... has helped to allay fears of a Le Pen presidency,” said economist Jessica Hinds at research consultancy Capital Economics.

“But the latest polls still point to a very tight race.”

Investors had fretted about the implications of a victory for Le Pen in the midst of the war in Ukraine, given her long-standing sympathies for Russia.

“All attention will now turn to the second round on April 24, and the big question for that will be where the supporters of the defeated first-round candidates go,” wrote Deutsche Bank analysts in a client note.

On the downside, London stocks slid on official data showing that the UK economy had ground to a near halt in February, growing by just 0.1 percent.

Dollar eyes 2002 yen peak

Elsewhere, the dollar hit a 2015 high at 125.77 yen on expectations of more US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, in contrast with the Bank of Japan’s loose policy.

That was not far from the greenback’s two-decade peak of 125.86 yen.

The Fed has recently taken a hawkish tone as it embarks on an aggressive tightening path to counter runaway inflation.

In China, factory-gate inflation was higher than expected in March, official data showed, as Russia’s war on Ukraine pushes up oil prices while a domestic COVID-19 resurgence strains food supplies and consumer costs.

The producer price index — measuring the cost of goods at the factory gate — grew 8.3 percent on-year, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures showed.

In Jakarta, Indonesia’s biggest tech firm GoTo soared on its debut after a billion-dollar IPO — the world’s fifth-biggest this year.

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