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European stocks tumble on French election uncertainty, but post weekly gains

European stocks tumble on French election uncertainty, but post weekly gains

European stocks fell on Friday, pressured by losses in banks and energy stocks, as investors became more cautious ahead of the second round of French parliamentary elections.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed down 0.18% at 516.60 points, after peaking more than a week earlier. The index, however, rose 1% for the week.

French financial markets have been under pressure since French President Emmanuel Macron called a snap election last month, fearing that a far-right victory would raise concerns about fiscal sustainability. But there is also nervousness about what will happen if there is no clear winner in Sunday’s second round of the election.

New polls show that the far-right party Réunion Nacional (RN) and its allies are still in the lead, but appear far from achieving an overall majority.

“There’s a belief that if (nobody) has total control of everything, that means only the really important things get done,” said Steve Sosnick, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers.

“The rapid interpretation of this (survey) is such that we could actually be moving out of the stalemate in France into a more unknown situation and that could make investors a little nervous.”

French stocks fell on Friday, but posted their biggest weekly gain since early May.

The banking sector fell 0.9%, putting the most pressure on the benchmark index, while the energy sector fell nearly 1%, leading sector declines.

In LONDON, the Financial Times index fell 0.45% to 8,203.93 points.

In FRANKFURT, the DAX index rose 0.14 percent to 18,475.45 points.

In PARIS, the CAC-40 index lost 0.26% to 7,675.62 points.

In MILAN the Ftse/Mib index fell by 0.35%, to 33,987.67 points.

In MADRID, the Ibex-35 index fell 0.39% to 11,023.50 points.

In LISBON, the PSI20 index depreciated by 0.04%, to 6,678.60 points.

Source: Terra

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