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Markets, euro soar as Macron leads in French presidential race

media Emmanuel Macron at his campaing headquarters on Sunday RFI/Pierre René-Worms

Europe's stock markets soared on Monday on the news that Emmanuel Macron was out in front in the French presidential race. The euro also surged.

Experts commented that Macron is already the next French president so far as the markets are concerned, following his first-place showing in Sunday's first round of the French presidential poll.

And they heaved a sigh of relief that he scored higher than the National Front's Marine Le Pen, whose protectionism and Euroscepticism are unpopular in financial circles.

The Paris Cac 40 index shot up 4.1 percent to 5,267.88 points.

Frankfurt's Dax 30 jumped 2.0 percent to 12,296.56 and London's FTSE 100 won 1.4 percent to 7,211.78.

Madrid's Ibex 35 index rallied 3.5 percent to 10,734.4 points at the start compared with Friday's close.

Banks' shares were the big winners, with France's BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole gaining eight percent at start of trading.

Britain's Barclays, Italy's Unicredit and Germany's Deutsche Bank also saw their shares rise.

The European currency rose to 1.09 dollars at one point, settling at 1.0846 dollars compared to 1.0726 dollars in New York on Friday.

Macron, a former banker, fiercely defended the EU during presidential debates and proposes to ease taxes on business and cut public-sector jobs and spending.

To read our coverage of the 2017 French presidential election click here

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