LONDON, April 20 With less than 24 hours of
trading to go before the first round of the French presidential
election, a likely squaring of positions on Thursday saw the
euro rally, French banking spike higher and government bond
The euro rose 0.6 percent while a rally in banking
stocks lifted France's CAC 40 up 1 percent easily
outpacing broader European markets.
BNP Paribas and Societe Generale shares both rose
more than 2 percent and Credit Agricole rising 1.4 percent.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron held on to his lead as favourite to
emerge as the eventual victor in the French presidential
election, a closely watched poll showed, although it indicated
that the outcome of the first round of voting on Sunday was too
close to call.
But in another sign of easing jitters over the election, the
premium investors demand for holding French government bonds
over top-rated German peers narrowed to its tightest level in
almost two weeks at around 65 basis points
(Reporting by Helen Reid and Dhara Ranasinghe, Editing by