Europe News

Macron wins French elections but markets slip as win seen priced in


Relief rally fades following Macron's election victory

European markets don't seem too impressed by the results of the French presidential elections in Monday's trading session. The "relief rally" caused by the election of the centrist, pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential elections has proven to be short-lived for the European stock markets.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 is down around 0.1 percent on Monday morning, while the French CAC 40 index, which is made up of stock prices of France's 40 largest companies, is down more than 0.5 percent.

Analysts across the board suggest that investors decided to "buy on the rumor and sell on the fact" around the French election. Macron's victory in the first round of the election led to a significant market rally, as investors priced in that the polls were accurate and Macron would defeat Marine Le Pen in the second round.

Now that they've been proven right, they are taking profits and selling out of European equities.

Supporters arrive ahead of Emmanuel Macron's electoral evening at The Louvre on May 7, 2017 in Paris, France
Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

Euro slips from 6-month highs on profit taking

The euro initially climbed to 6-month highs against the dollar on Sunday night after it was revealed Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election with around 65 percent of the vote.

The common currency also hit a 1-year high against the Japanese yen.

However, the euro is today pulling away from these gains; it hit day's low after slipping around 0.3 percent against the dollar and around 0.4 percent against the yen.

Traders are selling the euro in order to consolidate their gains through profit-taking. Analysts said there is little further upside potential to the value of the euro, unless we get another big catalyst, such as strong economic data. For instance, Germany will tomorrow report how much industrial production grew in March.

Analysts have also said that the focus will now turn to the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision in case the central bank decides to tighten its policy as investors cheer the results of French election.

French financials feel the sting as investors consolidate gains

French banks are being sold off sharply today, following the result of the French presidential election.

The stock price of Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Natixis were down by around 1 percent, less than an hour after European markets opened for trade on Monday morning.

Investors are selling their holdings in French financials in order to take profits. Emmanuel Macron's election victory over Marine Le Pen was priced into markets after the first round of voting two weeks ago, which helped to send financial stocks higher in previous sessions.

Pierre-Yves Gauthier, founding partner of AlphaValue, told CNBC he was surprised by the market sell-off.

"I was expecting a very positive reaction on behalf of financials, because financials would have been the short of choice," he told CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday.

European banks rallied after the first round of elections two weeks ago but later struggled during the week after being hit by weaker-than-expected first quarter earnings for some. The pan-European Stoxx banking sector was trading lower on Monday after initially opening in positive territory.

For a live update of market moving news, visit World Markets Live on CNBC.