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Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidential election with about 65.7% of the votes, against 34.4% for rival Marine Le Pen, according to early exit-polling estimates from Ipsos and Kantar, with about half of the votes tallied.
If projections hold, the victory on Sunday for the 39-year-old Macron—a staunch supporter of the European Union—is likely to placate anxious global market investors, who have fretted for weeks that far-right candidate Le Pen would win and make good on promises to yank France out of the EU, potentially unsettling the eurozone and world markets.
The euro EURUSD, +0.1183% rose 0.2% to $1.1023, compared with $1.099 late-Friday in New York.
Macron, a virtual newcomer to politics and the youngest president of the French republic, also delivers a defeat to what has been a wave of populist sentiment sweeping through Europe—highlighted by the U.K.’s referendum last June to exit from the EU.
A former investment banker for Rothschild, Macron has never held an elected position but was an economic minister for ex-French President François Hollande in 2012 and built his own party, En Marche, or “on the move,” just last year.
President Donald Trump on Sunday congratulated Macron via a tweet, although the U.S. president had expressed his view that an attack in Paris last month might help Le Pen:
Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France. I look very much forward to working with him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2017
Macron’s victory had been widely expected based on early polling that suggested a wide margin of victory, but a hack of the centrist candidate’s campaign, releasing a trove of documents on Friday, had led to some anxieties, ahead of the final-round vote.
Growing belief that Macron might win had helped to deliver a fillip to markets in recent trade, easing one big geopolitical risks that had weighed on investor psyche for months.
On Friday, France’s CAC 40 index PX1, +1.12% finished up 1.1% at 5,432.40, its highest level since January 2008, while the pan-European index Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.65% finished at a 21-month high at 394.54.
Europe’s shared currency has been in an uptrend since Macron’s first round victory, with the euro gaining nearly 1% over the past week, suggesting that a degree of Marcon’s victory has been priced into the market.
In the U.S., both the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.41% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.42% closed at records, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.26% ended above 21,000, marking its first close above that level since early March.