The results of the first round provided relief to investors, after the strong showing of her centrist opponent, Emmanuel Macron. As the markets tempered their expectations for a victory by Ms. Le Pen, the euro was up 1.5 percent against the dollar.
French President Francois Hollande has warned of “the risk for our country’s future” if far-right leader Marine Le Pen wins the presidential election. Speaking to voters from the Elysee Palace, the Socialist leader said France is in danger of “becoming isolated and breaking away from the EU” if Ms Le Pen sweeps to power.
For the first time in modern-day France, neither of the two mainstream parties made the second round of a presidential election. In their place, Emmanuel Macron, a former Socialist economy minister who left the party to run for the presidency, and Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right National Front, will face off on May 7.