MONEY MATTERS: Europe boosted after the first French election result

Scott Woods
Scott Woods
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Against a background of higher world growth, global equities continued to make handsome gains.

A ‘relief’ rally, following the first round of the French presidential elections, ignited European markets further.

Investor optimism also came from a raft of company earnings results’ announcements from the US, Europe and Asia, with analysts commenting they were the strongest showings for over six years.

Gains in shares came despite heightened political tensions between the US and North Korea and an unveiling of President Trump’s tax plans, which underwhelmed investors. Elsewhere, prices of developed market bonds fell and yields rose.

This time last year, who would have guessed that neither candidate from France’s two major political parties would feature in 2017’s presidential run-off? Not many.

Sunday will see centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen fight it out to become the country’s next president.

The French market reacted positively to the news of Macron’s victory in the first round of voting, he took 24 per cent of the vote and the euro rose sharply versus the dollar. The centrist is odds-on favourite to win the run-off.

It was a week of mixed fortunes for holders of gold, silver and copper. Shares in Mexican-based gold and silver producer, Fresnillo, fell on the back of falling gold production, although the company assured investors its silver production was on track.

Meanwhile, Anglo-Australian mining giant, BHP Billiton, was forced to reduce its profits guidance for copper production following the six-week strike at Chile’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, which . The lengthy strike, which supplies 5% of global output.

The value of investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.