U.S. markets surge following French election

"The French have resoundingly rejected first, the establishment, with neither of the two major parties qualifying, and secondly, socialism, with no left-wing candidate qualifying and the Parti Socialist imploding".

Le Pen, 48, addressing National Front backers in Henin-Beaumont, in northern France, said that French voters face a "historic opportunity" to choose between "savage globalization that threatens our civilization" or a France "with borders that protect our jobs and our purchasing power".

On a cold spring morning, 46 million French people voted in an election the likes of which they have not seen not seen since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958.

The defeated far-left candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, pointedly refused to do the same, and Le Pen's National Front is hoping to do the once unthinkable and peel away voters historically opposed to a party long tainted by racism and anti-Semitism.

"Trump made clear that his comments about Le Pen's border policies did not amount to an endorsement".

Jean-Marie Le Pen was ultimately crushed when voters from right and left rallied around the conservative Jacques Chirac in order to keep out a party whose far-right, anti-immigrant views they considered unpalatably xenophobic. "However, a lot can happen in two weeks and French assets are likely under some pressure until the second round is out of the way".

Following the announcement of the results of the first round of a presidential election, anti-fascists clash with police forces as they demonstrate in Paris, April 23, 2017. "You've just spoken for seven minutes and I have no idea where you stand", she said.

The second round polls are not even close to being within the margin of error, so it's really hard to imagine at this point that Le Pen is going to win.

His deregulation policies, she said, would lead to unjust global competition against France's business interests, mass immigration and free movement of terrorists.

ANALYST TAKE: "In Macron, we see the strongest opponent pitted against Le Pen, in what is likely to be the final vote of confidence for the European Union in what was always going to be a critical year for the future of Europe", said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

Mr Macron won 23.7%, while Ms Le Pen won 21.7%, French TV says.

In many ways, the contest between Le Pen and Macron is much like the fierce contest one witnessed between US President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last November: Trump stood for "America first" and was against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, globalisation and immigration, whereas Hillary stood for a liberal world order and equal citizens' rights for all Americans.

Runoff polling has Macron crushing Le Pen by about 62-38.

Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama also appears to be taking an interest in the French election, having on Thursday placed a friendly telephone call to Macron.

Eleven candidates were initially vying for presidency. Secondly, it helps to solidify the future of the European Union and the euro, something that Marine Le Pen wants to destroy. It had risen 2 percent but later eased back slightly to be 1.2 percent higher on the day, at $1.0857.

Crowds of young people, some from anarchist and "anti-fascist" groups, gathered on the Place de la Bastille in eastern Paris as results came in from the first-round vote.

  • Zachary Reyes