Why were markets so anxious?

The first round of France’s presidential election was conducted on April 23, 2017. There was a sense of anxiety among market participants about the outcome. Markets (SPY) across the globe fell going into the election because there weren’t any clear signs of a single person leading the race. To add to the anxiety, polls were predicting a lead to the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who has been against the euro and globalization. A win for Le Pen would mean another possibility for a major European member state exiting the European Union.

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Analyzing the outcome

In the first round of France’s presidential election, 11 candidates were in the running, but only four candidates were serious contenders. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the far-left candidate, François Fillon, the center-right Republican candidate, Marine Le Pen from the far-right National Front and EURUSD Macron, the independent centrist, were all waiting for a nail-biting finish to the first round.

For the first time in French history, major political parties didn’t progress to the second round of France’s presidential election. Macron and Le Pen advanced to the second round with 23.8% and 21.5% of the votes, respectively.

What’s next?

Now that the final candidates have been announced, the election will move to the second round. The next round is scheduled for May 7, 2017. Voters will choose France’s next president. In this series, we’ll explore how global (VEU) and European markets (EZU) reacted before and after the first round of elections. We’ll see how equities (USMV), bonds (BND), and currency markets could react in the next two weeks leading up to the election.

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