Global stocks mostly rise as investors mull French election

TOKYO:  Global stocks were mostly higher Monday as investors pondered the outcome from the first round of the French presidential election.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 added 3.9 percent in early trading to 5,255.62. Germany's DAX gained 2.5 percent to 12,354.94, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.6 percent to 7,230.84. US shares were also set to drift higher with Dow futures up 0.9 percent at 20,677. S&P 500 futures were up 1.0 percent at 2,371.40.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.4 percent to finish at 18,875.88. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 5,871.80. South Korea's Kospi added 0.4 percent to 2,173.74. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5 percent to 24,164.24, while the Shanghai Composite fell 1.4 percent to 3,129.53.

FRENCH ELECTION: After the weekend vote, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen are advancing to a runoff in France's presidential election. The outcome could lead to a reshaping of the country's political landscape and set up a showdown over France's participation in the European Union.

THE QUOTE: "It seems like a 'relief rebound' following the result of the French election just a few hours ago, which shows that Macron and Le Pen will go head-to-head in the final round. The first round election result was very much in line with earlier poll results," Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore, said in a commentary.

CHINA BLUES: Benchmarks in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell by more than 1 percent in their worst losses in four months after regulators warned over the weekend of risks in the financial industry. The Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission, in a notice carried by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, ordered insurers to improve risk controls amid a crackdown on misuse of capital.

ENERGY: Benchmark US crude rose 40 cents to $50.02 a barrel in New York. It shed $1.09, or 2.1 percent, to $49.62 a barrel Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 45 cents to $52.41 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar recovered to 110.11 yen from 109.09 yen late last week in Asia. The euro rose to $1.0851 from $1.0701.