UK shares joined in a European rally in equities following the first round of France’s presidential vote.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron topped the voting, going through to the final round with far-right Marine Le Pen.
Investors had worried that far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon would beat Mr Macron, giving voters a choice between two Eurosceptic candidates.
France’s Cac 40 index jumped 4% as trading began, while in London the FTSE 100rose nearly 2% to 7,244.19.
“There is a clear risk-on tone to markets… but the gains for riskier assets point to relief rather than exuberance,” said Neil Wilson at ETX Capital.
Bank shares saw some of the biggest gains. In France, Societe Generale jumped 8.7% and Credit Agricole was up 8%. In London, Barclays rose 4.7% and RBS added 3.7%.
DIY retailer Kingfisher, which owns French chains Castorama and Brico Depot, was the biggest riser in the FTSE 100, up 4.9%.
Energy shares fell after it emerged over the weekend that the Conservatives are planning a cap on household energy bills as part of their election manifesto.
Shares in British Gas owner Centrica fell 4.7% and SSE dropped 2.6%.
On the currency markets, the pound was unchanged against the dollar at $1.2807, but fell 1.2% against the euro to 1.1795 euros. The value of the euro hit a five-month high overnight following the French election result.
Published on 24 April 2017 | 9:12 am at Source