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At 17:00 local  time, turnout in the French elections is 65.3%. This is 4% under the turnout seen in the first round which was 69.42. Back in 2012, the second round turnout yielded nearly 72% turnout. There are still three more hours until all voting closes.

So, this significant drop in turnout  is worrying for markets. The risk is totally asymmetric.  A Macron victory is  mostly priced in and would allow the euro to advance, but just a bit. A Le Pen victory  would break the euro down, perhaps below parity with the US dollar.

President Macron – exit polls show landslide 65% – EUR/USD set to rise

Update: Belgian TV reports a big lead for Macron: 62-67%

Centrist Emmanuel Macron needs a high turnout in the second round of the French elections.  In order to secure his win, he needs people that voted for other candidates to coalesce around him. Extremist Marine Le Pen needs  a low turnout as it is harder for her to garner support from outside of her base.

On the other hand, Macron has a significant lead in the opinion polls. These were steady around 60% for Macron and 40% for Le Pen. The last poll on Friday showed a gap of 26% at the  IFOP poll.

French elections – all the updates in one place

Here is how the EUR/USD was trading since the beginning of the year. The trend to the upside is clear.