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May 08, 2017 07:23 AM IST | Source: CNBC

Asian markets mostly higher following landslide Macron victory in France

Asian markets were higher across the board, with Japan's Nikkei 225 surging 1.68 percent. The Nikkei share average also reached its highest level since December 2015.

Asian shares traded mostly higher on Monday following the landslide victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French polls on Sunday, with the Nikkei share average hitting its highest level since December 2015.

Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election, with the French interior ministry stating that the former had secured 65.1 percent of the vote. Macron, who is 39 years old, will become France's youngest president.

Market reaction was muted following the results of the French presidential vote, said National Australia Bank Head of FX Strategy Ray Attrill in a Monday morning note, although the euro/dollar bounced significantly.

The common currency hit a six-month high earlier in the session to trade at USD 1.10 against the dollar but later gave up some its gains. Euro/dollar last traded at USD 1.0965.

"We do expect that the euro can grind higher in coming weeks and months — NAB FX Strategy's year-end target is USD 1.13 — partly in anticipation of the European Central Bank now expressing more confidence that downside risks to the euro zone economy and inflation have further receded," Attrill said.

S&P 500 futures also rose 0.2 percent on the back of the news of the Macron victory as trading began for the week.

Asian markets were higher across the board, with Japan's Nikkei 225 surging 1.68 percent. The Nikkei share average also reached its highest level since December 2015.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index added 0.56 percent. Over in Australia, the ASX 200 was higher by 0.69 percent, driven largely by its energy and materials sub-indexes which were up 1.87 percent and 1.63 percent respectively.

Greater Chinese markets were mixed. The Hang Seng Index gained 0.32 percent but the Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite were lower by 0.51 percent and 0.429 percent respectively. Losses in mainland Chinese markets come on the back of tighter regulations from the Ministry of Finance on local government funding and the banking sector.

The dollar traded at 98.783 against a basket of rival currencies, edging slightly higher compared to the 98.5 handle seen in the previous session. The greenback earlier fetched a seven-week high against the yen but later stabilized to trade at 112.79. The Aussie dollar continued its slide against the dollar, trading lower at USD 0.7401 for a second straight session.

On the energy front, oil prices rose on the back of renewed output cut hopes, with US crude gaining 1.41 percent to trade at USD 46.87 a barrel. Brent crude added 1.49 percent to trade at USD 49.83. This comes after oil futures sold off last week to register its lowest prices in five months.

In economic news, China April trade data is expected at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN. Japan is also expected to release the results of its April consumer confidence survey.

Stateside, equities closed higher on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing at record levels following the release of strong April jobs data.
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