European bourses hovered around the flatline on Friday morning after a suspected terrorist attack in France, just two days ahead of a key presidential vote.
Politics and data
Investors are seemingly focused on earnings reports on Friday, but politics and fresh data are also firmly on the radar. One policeman was killed in central Paris and two were wounded after a gunman opened fire on Thursday night. The shooting raised further concerns ahead of what’s described as one of the most uncertain presidential elections in French history. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
A poll released Friday showed the centrist Emmanuel Macron gaining further momentum against the far-right leader Marine Le Pen with around a 2.5 percentage point lead going into the first round (the poll was conducted before Thursday’s shooting).
In terms of data, French PMIs came in stronger than expected on Friday morning. A manufacturing PMI rose to 55.1 from 53.3 in March. Later this morning, the euro zone will receive flash manufacturing and services PMIs and the U.K. will see the release of retail sales figures.
Elsewhere, finance ministers and central bank governors of the G-20 are gathered in the U.S., where the International Monetary Fund and World Bank carry on with their spring meetings.