French elections next step for EU fate
The French elections are held in two rounds: the first on April 23rd and the second on May 7th. Much like Brexit and the Dutch election, the French election poses potential for a serious political shift in Europe. Though the liberals did win out for the Dutch, it did nothing to quell the anti-EU, and pro-socialist murmurs rippling through Europe.
Recent polls are showing that the current front runner, centrist Emmanuel Macron is not far ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Le Pen’s anti-immigration, anti-Euro platform echoes recent sentiments seen with the Dutch and British. For the past two years, polls have been showing expectations that Le Pen will win the first round, but lose in the second. Should Le Pen take office, we are looking at a further widening of the EU crack, with long ranging potential consequences, not least of which is the effect it could have on the German elections coming up later this year, and a massive blow to financial markets.
After Brexit and Trump, there is far less confident in the polls. Combine that with an already unclear front runner for the election, and what we have is a stew of uncertainty, taking the markets by force. Le Pen has been vocal about leaving the EU should she win and though the process isn't quite so simple, this would have potential for serious and long lasting damage to the Euro. French stocks have already taken a hit from the beginning of 2017, losing ground while their counterparts gained. The USD and GBP have each been making moves on the market after Trump’s fail and Brexit’s green light. Keeping up to date with developments in France will be crucial for anticipating market movements that are sure to come.