PARIS (AP) — The Latest on France’s upcoming presidential election (all times local):
Investors are growing more cautious about France and the euro ahead of an unpredictable presidential election in the eurozone’s second-biggest economy.
The difference between the 10-year bond yields of France and Germany has risen to its widest in six weeks, an expression of investor concern, as they flock more to the perceived safety of German debt than France’s. The same has been happening in other European countries’ markets, which is possibly a sign of concern about the euro’s future if an anti-euro candidate wins in the French elections.
Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon has risen in the polls just 11 days before the vote. He promises to heavily tax the rich and pull France out of NATO and trade pacts.
The market movements are still far from the turmoil seen during the eurozone financial crisis, partly because the European Central Bank is deploying massive stimulus. Also, the eurozone economy is growing nicely — even in France.
With a bleed-the-rich video game and anti-EU rhetoric, French far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is rattling financial markets by swelling in polls just 11 days before the presidential vote.
Melenchon’s surge is the latest surprise in a roller-coaster campaign that’s being closely watched around Europe, and in which anti-establishment populism has played a starring role.
Most polling agencies still show that centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen are leading ahead of the April 23 first round and advance to the May 7 runoff. But Melenchon has risen in recent weeks to roughly third place, around even with conservative Francois Fillon.
Melenchon’s sharp-tongued wit during the two presidential debates have boosted his standing. He promises to heavily tax the rich and pull France out of NATO and trade pacts.
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