Inside the French Election: Will the First Round Winners Drive Sentiment?

France’s election

The highly anticipated first round of France’s Presidential election (EWQ) was held on Sunday, April 23, 2017. Among various candidates, En Marche’s (or EM!) Emmanuel Macron and National Front’s (or FN) Marine Le Pen got the majority of the votes, according to the exit polls, to become the top two candidates in the final vote.

Inside the French Election: Will the First Round Winners Drive Sentiment?

Outcomes from the first round of election

Emmanuel Macron got 23.7% votes and Marine Le Pen got 21.7% votes. The second and final round of the election will be held on May 7, 2017, among these two candidates. The first round of the election met market expectations. According to IFOP’s (Institut Français d’Opinion Publique) rolling barometer, Macron was expected to get 24%.

Emmanuel Macron was an investment banker before entering into politics, but he worked as a chief advisor to incumbent President François Hollande. If he is elected now, he will be the youngest president in the country’s history. His platform is mainly focusing on pro-European Union (EU) (VGK) (IEV) (EZU), business friendliness, and tax exemptions for France’s local housing. He also opposes the ban on Muslim veils.

Will this election change investment sentiment?

The stock market always looks for business-friendly sentiment in politics as this helps businesses expand their capacities and increase existing production capabilities. Such friendliness can also increase employment and company earnings.

Markets showed some relief after Macron win. Dow futures (DJIA-INDEX) (DIA) jumped nearly 212 points early in the morning on April 24, 2017, and made a high of 20,715.

In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze the performance of the euro after the announcement of the exit polls.