Brief highs for markets after Macron’s win

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Something of a Gallic shrug from the euro and the CAC 40 this morning, albeit one tinged with relief.

The shared currency touched a six-month high, briefly, after Mr Macron’s win and the main Paris stock index inched to its highest level since 2008 before slipping back.

• The euro is losing momentum after touching a six-month high, down 0.1 per cent at $1.0981

• European equities are following a similar pattern. The CAC 40 in Paris touched its highest level since 2008, with a 0.1 per cent gain enough to take it past the milestone. It then fell back, also by 0.1 per cent.

• The yield on French government debt is steady at 0.77 per cent

• Oil prices are higher, with Brent and WTI both up by over 0.6 per cent

Nonetheless, there is a strong sense of relief that the centre-right, pro-EU candidate saw off the challenge from the far-right.

There will be renewed focus on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) next move toward year-end. “Most analysts on the sell side expect a tapering from €60 billion per month to zero by mid-next year,” said Kenneth Orchard, portfolio manager at T Rowe Price.

“We believe the reduction in the ECB purchases will be much more gradual, with a possibility of the quantitative easing program lasting into 2019. In that case, we may see peripheral spreads staying low for longer, providing an opportunity to re-enter a long periphery position if political risks do not materialise.”

While the election result was as expected, investor relief was still evident in the movements of the Japanese yen — a perceived haven — which weakened as much as 0.4 per cent before firming to be virtually flat at ¥112.75 per dollar.

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