The euro hit a six-month high against the dollar while Asian shares gained and U.S. stock futures briefly touched a record high, on investor relief after centrist Emmanuel Macron comfortably won the French presidential election. As Ciara Lee reports, Macron's emphatic victory brought comfort to investors and European allies alike, who had been nervous about the risk of another populist upheaval, following Brexit and Donald Trump's election as U.S. president - neither of which had been predicted by pollsters or bookmakers.
Relief... It swept across Asian markets and then on to Europe as Emmanuel Macron took the win in the French election. The reaction was fairly muted though, with most investors pricing in a Macron victory after the first round vote two weeks ago. European shares hit fresh highs in early deals before briefly dipping into the red, pulled lower by banks and resources-related stocks, as the result spurred some profit-taking. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 percent, while France's CAC fell 0.4 percent. That's after hitting its highest levels in more than 9 years. And Germany's DAX was flat, holding near record highs. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "Marginal gains in European stocks. Euro actually sold off a little from a six month high. So as far as markets are concerned it's very much business as usual." It was the election that split France. But Macron's business-friendly vision for European integration defeated far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen. She'd threatened to take France out of the EU and euro. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS MARKET STRATEGIST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "The hard work lies ahead doesn't it. Of course the next immediate hurdle is the election for the national assembly on the 11th and 18th June. Emmanuel Macron of course has no established political party, although his En Marche movement is expected to do very very well. He says that he is going to be contesting all 577 seats. Having said that, conventional wisdom is that he will not gain a majority so he will have to form some kind of coalition." And the self-styled independent has other challenges too. Tackling a divided France for one. The markets now ready to turn their attention back to the next big threat...Brexit. Macron himself has voiced a desire to give Britain a particularly hard time during negotiations ///