France leads way as Macron lifts markets
European shares and the euro jumped on Monday with banking stocks surging after centrist Emmanuel Macron came out on top in the first round of France's presidential election.
Prices for gold, Treasuries and other investments that signal fear in the market all sank, while the euro's value surged against the dollar and sterling.
France's CAC 40 index surged 4.1pc and through the day flirted with its highest closing level since 2008.
Germany's DAX jumped 3.2pc and London's blue chip FTSE 100 index rose 1.9pc to 7,246.34 points in early trade, on track for its biggest one-day jump since early December 2016 and outpacing the mid caps - which were up 0.9pc at a record high.
In Dublin, the Iseq index was up almost 3pc at 6,940.76 with most big stocks swept higher on the positive momentum.
Mr Macron won the first round of voting, qualifying for a May 7 run-off alongside far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
The vote quelled market worries about a potential anti-establishment shock in light of the UK's Brexit vote to leave the EU last June and Donald's Trump's election in the US
UK banks jumped 2.4pc, joining in with a broader risk-on rally among European lenders which surged 4pc.
"It's the pro-growth backdrop that we're now starting to see come through rather than ... ongoing austerity which is providing quite a significant shift with the outlook for the European banks - in particular with the French banks very much leading the way, which of course sees their UK-listed counterparts rally quite significantly today as well," Dafydd Davies, partner at Charles Hanover Investments, said.