European stocks are flying after Emmanuel Macron took the lead in the French elections

LONDON — Stocks across continental Europe are flying on Monday morning after the French presidential vote set the stage for a final run-off between centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen.

Macron, who is strongly pro-EU, is widely expected to take victory in the second round and is the candidate most favoured in the financial markets given that his election would mean virtually zero chance of France leaving either the euro or the EU.

Risk assets have rallied since the vote was announced on Sunday evening, with the euro hitting a five-month high, while safe havens like gold and the yen have tumbled.

Equities have followed the euro higher, with France’s benchmark CAC 40 index opened a staggering 4% up, while indexes across the continent are seeing gains of 2-3%.

Here is how the CAC looks just a couple of minutes after the open:

While all but one stock on the CAC is in positive territory, it is France’s financial sector seeing the biggest gains in early trade. The country’s three biggest banks, Credit Agricole, Societe Generale, and BNP Paribas, are higher by 9,7%, 9.2%, and 8% respectively.

Elsewhere, Germany’s DAX is 2.1% higher, while Italy’s FTSE MIB and Spain’s IBEX are both 3.2% in positive territory. The Euro Stoxx 50 broad index is also more than 3% higher.

Here is the scoreboard:

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