French bonds dropped as the nation’s election campaign took another twist after Socialist Party presidential candidate Benoit Hamon said he’s holding further talks with far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon about a potential single candidacy.
A merger could bring about a showdown with Marine Le Pen’s anti-euro National Front, with the latest polls showing the combined vote share of the two candidates would see them qualify for the second round of voting in May. The yield difference between French and German 10-year bonds widened the most in a week, while the nation’s stocks and the euro dropped, after Hamon made the comments in an interview with France Info radio.
“This is clearly not a positive for French bonds,” said Kim Liu, a strategist at ABN Amro Bank. “It increases the odds of a Le Pen victory, with French bonds already being very vulnerable to political risks. It’s too early to call if this is a game changer as we do not know how serious the merger talks are, but certainly this is not something the market is waiting for.”
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