* Macron wins first round in French vote, ahead in polls
* Stocks on Wall Street rally 1 percent
* Safe-haven yen, Treasuries and gold fall
* Oil selloff continues
(Adds close of European markets)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 24 Global equity markets rallied
on Monday to send a gauge of world stock indexes to a record
high, while the euro briefly jumped to a five-month peak against
the U.S. dollar as the first round of an election in France went
to the market's preferred candidate.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron took a big step towards the French
presidency on Sunday by winning the first round of voting and
qualifying for a May 7 runoff alongside far-right leader Marine
The victory for the pro-European Union centrist Macron sent
MSCI's gauge of stock indexes across the globe
to a record high of 453.38.
The blue chip euro zone STOXX 50 index surged 4
percent, its best day in nearly two years, while France's CAC40
jumped 4.1 percent, its biggest daily percentage gain in
almost five years.
Investors were concerned a victory for Le Pen could put
France on the path taken by Britain to leave the European Union.
"The biggest thing was you got confirmation that polling can
actually be somewhat accurate, so you can actually make a
prediction on probabilities of events and you can allocate
assets and you don’t get this big surprise," said
Thomas Hainlin, global investment strategist at Ascent Private
Capital Management in Minneapolis.
"So you just get this big relief rally."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 220.7 points,
or 1.07 percent, to 20,768.46, the S&P 500 gained 24.65
points, or 1.05 percent, to 2,373.34 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 69.73 points, or 1.18 percent, to 5,980.25.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 2.20
percent, its best day in 10 months, and MSCI's gauge of stocks
across the globe gained 1.49 percent.
The euro pared earlier gains, but was still up more than 1
percent against the dollar and nearly 2 percent higher
against the yen.
There was also an unwinding of safe-haven trades.
Shorter-term German bonds saw their biggest
sell-off since the end of 2015 as investors piled back into
French as well as Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and
Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 10/32 in price
to yield 2.2695 percent, from 2.236 percent late on Friday.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.65 percent versus the greenback
to 109.79 per dollar. Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, the
VIX volatility index, plunged the most since November.
Spot gold dropped 0.7 percent to $1,275.56 an ounce.
U.S. gold futures fell 0.88 percent to $1,277.70 an
Meanwhile, investors are gearing up for the busiest week for
corporate results in at least a decade on Wall Street, with more
than 190 S&P 500 companies, including heavyweights Alphabet
and Microsoft, due to report.
Asia also saw a risk rally. MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.61
percent higher, while Japan's Nikkei rose 1.37 percent.
Oil prices continued to decline after last week's selloff,
on lack of confirmation that OPEC will extend output cuts till
the end of 2017 and as Russia indicated it can lift output if
the deal on curbs lapses.
U.S. crude fell 0.75 percent to $49.25 per barrel
and Brent was last at $51.64, down 0.62 percent on the
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)