Markets rally with pro-business candidate in lead to be French president
Traders Kevin Walsh, left, and Jonathan Corpina work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (AP / Richard Drew)
Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, April 23, 2017 11:46PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 24, 2017 5:37PM EDT
TORONTO -- North American stock indexes surged in a relief rally Monday following the first round of France's presidential election over the weekend.
Emmanuel Macron, seen as pro-business and friendly to the concept of the European Union, won the most votes Sunday and is seen as the leading contender in a run-off election where he will face anti-EU opponent Marine Le Pen in two weeks.
The S&P/TSX composite index added 97.98 points to 15,712.46, with the financials sector leading the way, up 1.52 per cent. The base metals sector of the TSX was up 0.90 per cent, while industrials stocks were up 0.88 per cent.
In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 216.13 points to 20,763.89, the S&P 500 index climbed 25.46 points to 2,374.15 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 73.30 points to 5,983.82, a new record.
"After Brexit last summer and the U.S. presidential election in the fall, I think markets have become a little more accustomed to bracing ahead of big elections, given the potential for a surprise outcome," said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.
"What we got in the French election over the weekend was what the market was hoping for, which was less of a surprise and results that were a bit more consistent with the polls heading in, so we're seeing markets rally in relief."
Meanwhile, the oil-sensitive loonie lost 0.04 of a U.S. cent to 74.01 cents US.
In commodities, the June crude oil contract was down 39 cents at US$49.23 per barrel, the June natural gas contract gave back three cents at US$3.16 per mmBTU and the May copper contract was up two cents at US$2.55 a pound.
Gold, perceived as a safe haven in times of uncertainty, declined as investors turned their attention to riskier assets such as stocks, said Fehr.
The June gold contract declined $11.60 at US$1,277.50 an ounce while the global gold sector of the TSX retreated 2.20 per cent.