The euro and most stock markets surged Monday after moderate candidate Emmanuel Macron won the first round of France's presidential election and looked set to triumph in the run-off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen next month.
Investors globally had been fearful that a wave of populism, which swept Donald Trump to the White House and saw Britain leave the EU, could lead to a win for the anti-European Le Pen and put the future of the bloc in doubt.
However, Macron is widely expected to gallop to victory over the divisive Front National leader and traders gave a huge thumbs-up, sending the euro flying above $1.09 at one point before paring the gains to $1.0850 from $1.0726 in New York on Friday.
Keeping Score: France's CAC 40 added 3.9 percent in early trading to 5,255.62. Germany's DAX gained 2.5 percent to 12,354.94, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.6 percent to 7,230.84. U.S. shares were also set to drift higher with Dow futures up 0.9 percent at 20,677. S&P 500 futures were up 1.0 percent at 2,371.40.
Asia's Day: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.4 percent to finish at 18,875.88. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 5,871.80. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent to 2,173.74. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 24,164.24, while the Shanghai Composite fell 1.4 percent to 3,129.53.
The Quote: "It seems like a 'relief rebound' following the result of the French election just a few hours ago, which shows that Macron and Le Pen will go head-to-head in the final round. The first round election result was very much in line with earlier poll results," Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore, said in a commentary.
China Blues: Benchmarks in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell by more than 1 percent in their worst losses in four months after regulators warned over the weekend of risks in the financial industry. The Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission, in a notice carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, ordered insurers to improve risk controls amid a crackdown on misuse of capital.
Energy: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 40 cents to $50.02 a barrel in New York. It shed $1.09, or 2.1 percent, to $49.62 a barrel Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 45 cents to $52.41 a barrel in London.
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