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As foreseen by the  opinion polls, Emmanuel Macron is the next French president. The exit polls show a very wide gap and they were very accurate in the first round when the vote was more complicated.  Exit polls show 65.1% for Macron and only 34.9% for Le Pen. The turnout is estimated at around 74%, lower than expected.

EUR/USD has some room to rise when  the trading week commences in Asia quite soon.

Update:  EUR/USD reaches 1.1020 on Macron’s victory

French elections – all the updates in one place.

More updates:

  • Le Pen concedes defeat after 10 minutes
  • Merkel,  May, and others congratulated Macron
  • Italian PM says that Macron is a hope for Europe
  • Abstention rate is 28% according to the latest  official read.
  • Initial  EUR/USD pricing due at 19:00 GMT

The pollsters are  Ispos/Sopra Steria for French state TV and radio and Le Monde.

French exit polls work differently than in other countries. They are actually using real votes from polling stations that close early, at 19:00 local time, 17:00 GMT. The results are accurate to within one percentage point. In the first round, they gave Macron 23.7% and the actual result was 24%.

Earlier, the turnout was quite worrying for Macron: they were 4% below the first round and 7% under the second round in 2012. On the other hand, reports coming from Belgium talked about a win of between 62% to 67% for Macron, based on leaked data.

Markets undoubtedly prefer centrist Macron over extremist Le Pen. The most destructive policy she had offered was leaving the euro, something that would have ended the common currency.

The risk in markets was very asymmetric: a victory for Macron was almost fully priced in. A Le Pen victory was not on the cards.

Here is how EUR/USD is trading in recent months. As the chart shows, there is a clear uptrend.