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Italian PM, Emmanuel Macron set to join hands for Europe's development

25 April 2017

Voters narrowed the presidential field from 11 to two on Sunday in an election widely seen as a litmus test for the populist wave that previous year prompted Britain to vote to leave the European Union and U.S. voters to elect Donald Trump president.

France's far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen says she is temporarily stepping down as head of her National Front party.

Goodwin said while European leaders might breath a sigh of relief, they should heed the fact that anti-Europe sentiment is clearly on the rise, with far-left anti-Europe candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon also gaining 19.6 per cent of the vote. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 73.30 points, or 1.24 percent, to 5,983.82.

"As things stand, Macron is on course to be the next French president, so it is likely that we see a recovery in risk appetite toward French and other European markets". France's CAC 40 index jumped 4.1 percent and at one point touched its highest level since 2008.

The greenback edged up 0.1 percent to 109.89 yen, but remained below Monday's high of 110.64 yen, its strongest level since April 11.

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Gold, sought as a shelter for wealth in turbulent times, fell 0.4 percent to just under $1,270 an ounce. Against sterling, the euro rose 1.4% to 85.005 pence.

The euro's rally underlined investors' nervousness, analysts said. "It means that many people had their guard up ahead of the vote", Yuji Saito, Tokyo-based forex director at Credit Agricole, told AFP.

Mr Macron was Mr Hollande's economy minister from 2014 to 2016 when he quit to form his own centrist movement En Marche.

Polls have consistently been showing a Macron-Le Pen matchup could end in Macron's favor.

Current French President, Francois Hollande, came out to urge voters to support Macron in the May 7 runoff to keep out Le Pen.

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Mr Macron's defeated rival in Sunday's election François Fillon has already endorsed him.

"And other elections may loom even larger for the future of the European Union, such as next year's Italian vote", Mr Paolini said. "Mr. Macron must consider that now", the Russian politician said.

"I will feel freer, I will be above partisan considerations, it's an important act", Ms Le Pen said.

Mrs Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, tweeted that "the result for Emmanuel Macron shows: France AND Europe can win together! He basically represents continuity".

The French CAC 40 stock index also surged more than 4 percent - to its highest level in almost a decade - following polling that showed Macron likely to win by a landslide in his May 7 runoff against Le Pen.

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