Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

President Tsai congratulates French President-elect Macron

PAUkip have lost all their seats in Lincolnshire Hampshire and Essex PAUkip have lost all their seats in Lincolnshire Hampshire and Essex
Kenny Thornton | 10 May, 2017, 00:13

Wall Street looked set to open modestly lower as index futures, including those on the S&P 500, which earlier hit a record high, reversed direction and fell.

For investors, a sigh of relief over France is understandable.

Early reports showed that slightly more than 25% of voters absented, the highest rate in a French presidential election since 1969, according to The Guardian. The vote caps a bout of turmoil triggered by an influence peddling scandal that brought about the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye. There is widespread anti-establishment anger fuelled by economic pain, which has seen the country suffer years of double digit unemployment (10%) and low growth (1.4% this year).

Congratulations from other leaders also poured in quickly.

Tokyo shares, resuming trade after a three-day market holiday, closed up 2.3 per cent at a 17-month high. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent to 5,870.90 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.3 percent to 24,547.98.

"Macron is a politician who has never in his career dealt with [foreign policy] issues.so you can expect lots of predictability on the Macron team", Martin Michelot, deputy director of the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, told RFE/RL, ticking off a list of EU points of emphasis vis-à-vis security and Russian Federation, whose invasion of Ukraine and continuing support of separatists there prompted Western sanctions: "the same strong position on Russian Federation, the importance of respecting the Minsk agreements, on not recognizing the illegal annexation of Crimea", and a strong commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"Europe dodges a bullet here", said Paul Christopher, head global market strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

Friday's USA job numbers were solid and yield spreads support the dollar over the euro.

"Investors will now go back to the basics of watching the underlying euro zone economic and inflation data and what implications it may have for monetary policy", said Iain Stealey, a fixed income portfolio manager for JPMorgan Asset Management.

Navy SEAL killed in Somalia identified
On April 6, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared war on al-Shabab but at the same time offered the militants amnesty. The troops did not call in a defensive airstrike, he said, adding "the attackers were quickly neutralized on the ground".

Referring to Russia's efforts to interfere the in French elections, Tusk said: "Congratulations to French people for choosing Liberty, Equality and Fraternity over [the] tyranny of fake news".

Macron's expected margin of victory was bigger than the gap shown by pre-election polls, which had projected a Macron victory by around 20 points.

"This is certainly positive for the European economy", said Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

It's also a further dent to the populist tide that many blame for Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Macron's team has expressed confidence he can win an outright majority of 289 seats, despite the electorate being split four ways between the centre, the right, the far-right and the left.

In a victory speech late Sunday, Macron promised that as president he would defend France against jihadists, who have killed over 230 people in a string of terror attacks since 2015, including a fatal assault on a kosher supermarket in Paris. "The French political class should be anxious, very worried", he said.

Investors welcomed the victory for Macron, which definitively removed the possibility of the anti-euro and anti-EU Le Pen gaining power. The movement is just about one year old and will have to field hundreds of candidates in the elections.

In energy trading, US crude oil gained 58 cents to $46.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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