EU relief as Macron tops 1st round of French polls

Euro zone money markets have priced in a higher chance of a rise in ECB interest rates after Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential election. PHOTO: REUTERS
Emmanuel Macron attending a ceremony at a monument in memory of mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces in 1915, in Paris, France, on April 24, 2017.
Emmanuel Macron attending a ceremony at a monument in memory of mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces in 1915, in Paris, France, on April 24, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS • Pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron topped the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday, ahead of his far-right rival, Ms Marine Le Pen.

The result brought widespread relief to France's EU neighbours - Ms Le Pen has vowed to take the country out of the EU, like Britain has - and sparked a stock market rally.

Top EU officials, including European Commission chief Jean- Claude Juncker, phoned Mr Macron to congratulate him yesterday.

Mr Macron, who is 39 and has never held elected office, and Ms Le Pen, 48, resume campaigning and square off in a televised debate on May 3, before the final round of voting on May 7. Many expect Mr Macron, a former banker, to win.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2017, with the headline 'EU relief as Macron tops 1st round of French polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe