LONDON — The wealthiest people in
Europe became $US27.5 billion (£21 billion) richer after the risk of a French lurch to the far right receded, according to data from Bloomberg.
Stocks across continental Europe surged on Monday 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.
Bloomberg, which tracks the fortunes of billionaires in an index, said European members increased their total wealth by 2.6% as a result.
Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega, the owner of Zara, made the most on the day, netting $US2.7 billion to become the second-richest person in the world. He is up more than $US7 billion this year, amassing a fortune of $US79.8 billion.
Ortega is notoriously reclusive. He began his working life as a messenger boy in a shop, working his way up to found Zara in the Northern Spanish city of A Coruña in 1975 when he was 40.
Macron is widely expected to take victory in the second round and is the candidate most favoured in the financial markets given that his election keep France in the euro and strengthen the country’s commitment to the European Union.
The euro hit a five-month high, and
equities followed, with France’s benchmark CAC 40 index opened a staggering 4.5% up, while indexes across the continent saw gains of 2-4%. Most bourses jumped at the open but remained broadly unmoved after those jumps.
The CAC’s performance on the day put it at a high not seen in more than nine years.
Here is how the CAC looked across the day on Monday:
Elsewhere, two major bourses hit record highs on the day, with Germany’s DAX surpassing its highest ever level and Britain’s mid-tier FTSE 250 doing the same.
Here is the markets scoreboard: