Top 5 Things to Know Today In Financial Markets

Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, May 8:

1. Macron cruises to victory in France

Pro-European Union, market-friendly centrist Emmanuel Macron beat anti-EU, anti-immigration far-rightist Marine Le Pen to clinch the French presidency in the second round of voting on Sunday.

With virtually all votes counted, results showed Macron had topped 66% against just under 34% for Le Pen, delivering a result that most investors were hoping for.

The victory for Macron signaled that political risks in France and across Europe are receding, in the wake of the populist surge which resulted in Brexit and propelled Donald Trump to the White House.

2. Euro slips as Macron relief rally loses steam

The euro gave up overnight gains on Monday after rising to multi-month highs against the other major currencies, as the initial relief rally over centrist reformer Emmanuel Macron winning the French presidential election started to fizzle.

The euro was down around 0.5% at 1.0940 in New York morning trade, after topping 1.1000 in the overnight session for the first time since the U.S. elections in November (EUR/USD).

EUR was also lower against the yen, down 0.6% at 123.20, pulling back after touching a one-year peak of 124.52 (EUR/JPY).

EUR fell back as gains had already been priced in after Macron’s strong showing in the first round of voting two weeks ago.

Investors were also turning their attention to the difficulties Macron will face in implementing his economic program, which includes labor market reforms.

3. Global stocks mixed; Europe trades lower after French election

Global stock markets were mixed on Monday, in the wake of France’s president election, with investors having largely positioned for Macron’s victory in the run-up to Sunday’s vote.

Asian equities closed mostly higher, with Japan’s Nikkei ending up about 2.3%, while the Shanghai Composite in China lost around 0.8%.

In Europe, stocks across the continent slipped in mid-morning trade, with France’s CAC 40 pulling back from a nine-year high to trade down 0.8%.

On Wall Street, the blue-chip Dow futures inched down 43 points, or around 0.2%, the S&P 500 futures dipped 5 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures declined 9 points.

4. Oil gives up strong overnight gains

Oil prices edged lower on Monday, erasing strong overnight gains amid fears that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.

U.S. crude was at $46.17 a barrel, down 5 cents, or around 0.1%, while Brent shed 6 cents to $49.04.

Oil rose more than 1.5% during Asian hours on expectations that an OPEC-led production cut will be extended into the second half of the year.

5. China’s April exports, imports rise less than expected

Data released overnight showed that China’s exports and imports rose in April but missed analysts’ expectations, as domestic and foreign demand faltered and commodity prices fell.

China’s April exports rose 8.0% from a year earlier, below forecasts for a gain of 10.4%, while imports expanded 11.9%, missing expectations for an 18% increase, official data showed on Monday.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $38.05 billion for the month, the General Administration of Customs said.

Worries about Chinese growth hit commodities markets hard last week with industrial metals, such as copper and iron-ore falling sharply.

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