Monday May 8th


French election, bumper earnings set to cause a stir on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Monday, with investors set to digest more earnings and moves in oil, on top of the news that a pro-European Union candidate had won the French election. On Sunday, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron claimed victory in the French presidential election after securing around 66 percent of the vote, beating his far-right and anti-EU opponent Marine Le Pen. The pro-European Union candidate's win was met with delight from global leaders, letting markets breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to the stability and future of the European Union. With investors having already priced in a Macron victory, bourses in Europe were under slight pressure. Asian markets were mostly higher, with Japan's Nikkei 225 surging 2.31 percent or 450 points to close at 19,895.7. The Nikkei share average also reached its highest level since December 2015. South Korea's benchmark Kospi index added 2.3 percent or 51.52 points to close at 2,292.76. Over in Australia, the ASX 200 closed 0.59 percent or 34.344 points higher at 5,870.9, driven largely by its energy and materials sub-indexes which were up 2.35 percent and 1.09 percent respectively. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.47 percent but mainland Chinese markets closed lower. The Shanghai Composite traded 0.85 percent or 26.2517 points lower at 3,076.7861 while the Shenzhen Composite fell 1.986 percent or 37.2016 points to close at 1,835.5866. Stepping aside from politics, earnings are expected to be front and center in U.S. trade on Monday, with Marriott International and Plains All American being some of the key companies set to report. Following last week's volatility in the oil markets, crude futures fluctuated in morning trade following comments from Saudi Arabia's energy minister on the possibility of an extension to the OPEC-led production cut, which is currently expected to end in June, Reuters reported. Around 8:25 a.m. ET, U.S. crude was slightly lower, off 0.06 percent at $46.19 while Brent dipped 0.06 percent to $49.07 per barrel. While no major data is expected to be released on Monday, investors will be on the lookout for the results of two bond auctions. Gold edged up on Monday on bargain-hunting after dipping to a seven-week low earlier in the session and as the euro strengthened after pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election. Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,230.64 per ounce, after touching 1,224.86 earlier in the session, its lowest since March 17. U.S. gold futures were also up 0.3 percent at $1,230.80 an ounce.