* Macron wins first round in French vote, ahead in polls
* Bluechip European shares jump 3 percent, euro up 1 percent
* Safe-haven, yen, Treasuries and gold fall
* Oil prices inch up after steep losses last week
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2017 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
By Marc Jones
LONDON, April 24 European shares opened sharply
higher and the euro briefly vaulted to five-month peaks on
Monday after the market's favoured candidate won the first round
of the French election, reducing the risk of another Brexit-like
The victory for pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron, who is now
expected to beat right-wing rival Marine Le Pen in a deciding
vote next month, sent the pan-European STOXX 50
index up 3 percent, France's CAC40 almost 4
percent and bank stocks more than 6 percent.
Traders top-sliced some of the euro's overnight gains, but
it was still up more than 1 percent on the dollar,
more than 2 percent against the yen and 1.3 percent on
the pound as the early flurry of deals subsided.
"It (the first round result) has come out in line with the
market's expectations so you have something of a risk rally as
there was a bit of a risk-premium built into all markets," said
James Binny, head of currency at State Street Global Advisors.
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
The Japanese yen's fall was widespread, the
market's so-called fear-guage, the VIX volatility index,
plunged the most since November and gold saw its biggest
tumble in more than a month.
E-mini futures for Wall Street's S&P 500 climbed 0.9
percent in early trade, while yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury
notes rose almost 8 basis points to 2.31 percent.
Asia also saw a risk rally. Japan's Nikkei jumped
1.5 percent as the yen retreated, while MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.3
Shanghai shares fell 1.7 percent after state media
signalled Beijing would tolerate more market volatility as
regulators clamp down on riskier financing.
But Macron's success set the tone.
The euro jumped in relief, and was last up 1.1 percent at
$1.0840, having been as far as $1.0940, the highest since
The safe-haven yen slipped across the board with the euro
surging as much 2.4 percent to 119.77 yen while the
U.S. dollar gained 1 percent to 110.20 yen.
"The rise of the euro and risk appetite rebounding is
understandable and this should also see yields in Europe fall,
spreads to Bunds tighten and stocks rally," said Tim Riddell, an
analyst at Westpac.
"However, such gains are likely to be contained when markets
reflect upon the marked shift away from the 'establishment' and
just how effective the new president may be," he added.
SCEPTICAL ON TAX
Wall Street on Friday had only a modest lift from news
President Donald Trump would announce the broad outline of his
proposed tax package on Wednesday.
"Markets are sceptical that the real details will be
forthcoming," said analysts at ANZ in a note.
"There is also plenty of conjecture about whether any tax
cuts will be able to be revenue neutral, and that could affect
their ease of passage through Congress."
The Dow ended Friday down a minor 0.15 percent, while
the S&P 500 lost 0.30 percent and the Nasdaq fell
Investors were also keeping a wary eye on tensions in the
North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a U.S.
aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, in the
latest sign of rising tension as Trump called the leaders of
China and Japan to discuss the situation.
South Korea responded by asking Washington about holding
joint drills with the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike
group as it approaches waters off the Korean peninsula.
Oil prices recouped just a little of last week's hefty
losses, still weighed by signs U.S. production and inventory
growth were offsetting OPEC's attempts to reduce the global
Brent futures were up 16 cents at $52.12 a barrel,
while U.S. crude futures added 17 cents to $49.79.
(Additional reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney; Editing by