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French stocks put in their best performance since the first round of the presidential election on Thursday morning, after a strong performance by centrist hopeful Emmanuel Macron in last night’s televised debate raised hopes that he will win a comfortable victory in the second round vote on Sunday.

The CAC 40 jumped more than 4 per cent after Mr Macron’s success in the first round of voting two weeks ago, but has remained calmer in the days since.

However, it climbed 0.94 per cent on Thursday morning to a high of 5,352, its highest level since early 2008.

Renewed confidence in the wake of the debate also helped push the premium demanded to hold French government bonds over their German equivalents to its lowest level in six months earlier this morning.

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