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French stocks have mostly held on to nine-and-a-half-year highs but did not make further gains in the first minutes of trading, after Emmanuel Macron’s presidential election victory over Marine Le Pen on Sunday.

The CAC40 –France’s main market index – rose 0.1 per cent on Monday morning before settling falling back a little, still in the range of the gains made in recent days.

The index rose 2.6 per cent in the two days after the final TV debate last Wednesday to 5432.80, as investors’ expectations of a Macron win became firmer.

Some analysts expect other European stock markets will benefit from relief at the French result.

Victoire de Trogoff, a portfolio manager at Fidelity International, said “the road is clear”.

More than two-thirds of European companies beat earnings expectations in the first quarter, on average by 10%, as earnings grew 25%. This is encouraging, breaking with the trend of the past six years.

Jean Boivin, head of economic and markets research at BlackRock Investment Institute, is “positive on European shares” and sees “potential for renewed investor inflows as focus returns to the region’s improving growth”.

Steven Andrew, macro fund manager at M&G Investments, anticipates “significant upside surprises to market expectations for company earnings and sales during the opening period of 2017″, which, he said, “suggests that euro area equities, currently attractively priced, could deliver substantial investment returns in the period ahead”.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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