Israel, Europe see financial gains after first round of French elections

Investors in the global financial market appear secure in their belief that presidential candidate Macron will defeat Le Pen in the second round of the 2017 French presidential elections. 

Israel’s stock market has reacted positively to the results on Sunday of the first round of France’s 2017 presidential elections.

Although National Front candidate Marine Le Pen’s finish in second place may have come as somewhat of a scare for some in the global financial markets, Emmanuel Macron’s first-place finish appeared to provide a bit of a stabilizing effect to the markets in Europe as well as in Israel.

Globes reported that stocks experienced strong gains as the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) opened up trading on Monday. The two major banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, were up by 1.62%. Mizrahi Tefahot followed with a gain of 1.41%, Teva with 0.61% and Bezeq up to 0.77%. Discount Bank rose 2.30%. Overall, the Tel Aviv 35 Index was as high as 1.27%.

Europe experienced higher gains than Israel, with the CAC 40 in France up by 3.48%, the FTSE 100 up by 1.75% and the DAX up by 2.24%. Coupled with these bonuses in the European financial markets was the euro’s increase to the dollar by more than 1%.

Globes added that investors are still prepared for the possible, but less likely, scenario that Le Pen beats Macron in the second round of the elections on May 7.

Le Pen is seen by many as a threat not only to the political status quo in France but also to the status quo of the global financial markets in light of her euroscepticism and support for a “Frexit” from the European Union.

By contrast, Macron, who has been described by analysts and pundits as a political centrist, is a proponent of continued European integration and is therefore much less likely to trigger major political and economic changes in France and the global markets.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News