European banks led a relief rally on Monday after business-friendly candidate Emmanuel Macron topped France’s first-round election poll, cutting the chance of Frexit. Macron, a former Rothschild banker, is expected to outpace rival Marine Le Pen in the final election vote on May 7, paving the way for an overhaul of France’s economy and ending Le Pen’s bid to leave the single currency. French lenders Société Générale and BNP Paribas jumped 9% and 8%, helping pushed the Eurostoxx index of European banks up 7%, its highest in more than a year.
I hope that in a fortnight I will become your president. I want to become the president of all the people of France - the president of the patriots in the face of the threat from the nationalists.
Mr Macron said in his victory speech
Mr Macron said: “The challenge will be to break with the system that for 30 years has proved unable to solve the problems of our country…I want to build a majority for change and transformation, composed of new talent.” Despite Mr Macron being a relative political novice who has never held elected office before, polls have consistently suggested if he went up against Le Pen in the final battle he would easily win. And Mr Macron already has the momentum on his side with the defeated socialist candidate Benoit Hamon and republican Francois Fillon pledging to throw their weight behind him to defeat Le Pen and her anti-immigration and anti-Europe policies.