World leaders congratulate Macron on poll victory, European Union breathes sigh of relief

"A Macron win is largely priced into the euro", said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

Overnight he appeared side-by-side with outgoing president Francois Hollande - his former mentor - at a commemoration of the end of World War II.

His party is changing its name to La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) as it prepares a list of candidates. "He carries the hopes of millions of French people, and of many people in Germany and the whole of Europe", German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference in Berlin.

According to a Financial Times analysis, Macron won 84 percent of the vote in the most educated regions, compared to just 53 percent among the least educated 10 percent of local areas.

Even Le Pen's own people, who didn't actually expect to be walking into the Élysée Palace on Sunday and walking out of the euro on Monday, didn't think they'd lose by more than 20.

Despite Le Pen's efforts to purge her National Front (FN) party of the anti-Semitism which became its trademark under the leadership of her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party continues to court controversy over the issue.

"He ran a courageous pro-European campaign, stands for openness to the world and is committed decisively to a social market economy", the EU's most powerful leader added, congratulating Macron on his "spectacular" election success.

Parliamentary elections are due in the country in June.

Leaders of the 28-nation European Union, from which Le Pen said she wanted to remove France, were explicitly effusive in their congratulations.

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It also marks decades of peace in western Europe, something Mr Macron made a cornerstone of his campaign against Ms Le Pen's brand of populism.

On Friday night, an hour before a French media blackout ahead of the vote, a cache of hacked En Marche! files, reportedly mixed with some falsified documents, were published online in an attack that bore some of the hallmarks of the hack on the Democrat party in last year's United States election.

Macron's big challenge now is to garner support for the crucial legislative election in June.

She also had strong support in some Mediterranean communities, namely Var and southern Corsica.

Although market sentiment was positive following Macron's election victory, profit taking dominated on Monday with the Presidential vote already priced in.

In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Macron's election makes it even more important for British voters to back her Conservatives and strengthen Britain's hand in European Union exit talks. "The euro's rising momentum was derived from France's presidential election, but that's receding now".

The euro climbed to its highest level in six months, breaking above $1.10 for the first time since the US presidential election.

The currency traded 0.22 per cent or 24 points weaker as of 3.50 pm on Monday afternoon, retreating from its highest level in five months at €1.1038 to the USA dollar the previous day.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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