Euro steady after Macron victory in France

13:02 • 08.05.17

The euro hit a six-month dollar high before falling back as markets reacted to Emmanuel Macron's victory in France's presidential election, BBC News reports.

The euro jumped to $1.1024 at one point before slipping back to $1.098.

Investors had widely expected pro-EU centrist Mr Macron to beat far right nationalist Marine Le Pen.

He has proposed cutting corporation tax and changing the labour market, but there are concerns about his ability to get his plans implemented.

As an independent, Mr Macron does not have representatives in parliament.

Peter Hensman, global strategist at Newton Investment Management, said: "The challenge going forward is Macron's lack of significant support in parliament.

"He founded his own party, En Marche!, and hence currently has no elected representatives to push through his plans. This means the parliamentary elections scheduled for 11 and 18 June will have significant implications for his future prospects."

Following his victory, UK Prime Minister Theresa May called Mr Macron to congratulate him and they briefly discussed Brexit.

Jean Pisani-Ferry, chief economic adviser to Mr Macron, told the BBC's Today programme that France's new president had no interest in punishing Britain and did not want a hard Brexit, but said he would be "tough" during negotiations.

He said: "There is a mutual interest in keeping prosperity that exists, that has been built over the years from lots of economic and various relationships, also the security and defence relationship is extremely important in the kind of environment we are in and which is a very dangerous environment.

"So we have to keep all that. At the same time we have divergent interests on some aspects of the negotiation, so there will be a tough negotiation and he will be tough."

Mr Macron is a former investment banker and an economic liberal. He was economy minister under Socialist President Francois Hollande, but has tried to define himself as neither left nor right politically.

He has proposed a range of policies combining budget cuts and more labour market flexibility, with public investment and an extension of the welfare state.

"Voters elected for Emmanuel Macron's pro-business policy proposals, which have the potential to unlock long-held-back investment and stimulate French markets," said Stephen Mitchell at London-based fund manager, Jupiter Asset Management.

His opponent in the race for the presidency, Marine Le Pen, is a critic of globalisation and had proposed withdrawing France from the single currency.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: "While politicians in Europe let out a collective sigh of relief what the result can't disguise is the level of voter dissatisfaction in France as a whole, given that nearly half the French electorate still voted for parties who ran on an anti-globalisation ticket.

"Knowing all of this the new French President may well find that winning was the easy bit. It's all well and good running on a ticket of cutting 120,000 public sector jobs, a 60bn euros cut in public spending and a lowering of the unemployment rate to 7%, it will be another getting it through the French parliament."



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