French Election and the Markets

The presidential election in France has frequently been compared to the one in the United States. Marine Le Pen is hailed as the far-right Donald Trump and 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron is viewed, not as Hillary Clinton, but rather a Bernie Sanders figure with his support of younger voters and rebellion against the establishment.

Although we can’t vote in the runoff election on May 7, its implications in international markets do have an effect on our lives.

The first round of elections, similar to the U.S. presidential primary, concluded on April 23 with Macron taking the top spot with 23.9 percent of the vote. Le Pen was behind Macron with 21.4 percent.

Le Pen wants France to leave the European Union (EU). After Britain left the EU last year, many speculate that France leaving as well will conclude in a total collapse of the union. As the largest single market in the world, the collapse of the EU will likely lead to increased cost for trade both within the EU nations and outside of them.

For that reason, global markets are skeptical of Le Pen and following the first round of elections it showed.

Bloomberg’s indices of market anxiety, uncertainty and volatility all pointed to a wave of relief in the wake of Macron taking the top spot in the first round.

Expected market volatility decreased by a single-day record. People stopped dumping money into foreign currency in fear that Le Pen leaving the EU would cause the euro to devalue.

Investors are cautiously confident that Macron’s performance in the first round will lead to his ultimate victory on May 7. None of the other nine candidates in the first-round have rallied behind Le Pen, while Macron has gained some support from those parties he defeated.

But after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the United States, both of which went against expectation at the polls, nothing is certain. Markets are still at an elevated level of anxiety than they were before these big changes to the global economy.

Crop prices (April 24)

Rio Creek Feed Mill – Algoma

Commodity Price (per bushel) Basis
Corn $3.07 -0.50
New-Crop Corn $3.17 -0.65
Soybeans $8.66 -0.85
New-Crop Soybeans $8.74 -0.86
Wheat (SRW) $3.25 -0.80
New-Crop Wheat (SRW) $3.36 -0.85


Fox River Valley Ethanol – Green Bay

Corn $3.11/bushel -0.46
New-Crop Corn $3.37/bushel -0.45

Basis: The difference between the local cash price for a commodity and the Chicago cash price (where the Board of Trade sets national futures price).

Gas Price Averages

United States: $2.42

United States one year ago: $2.13

Wisconsin: $2.39

Wisconsin one year ago: $2.12

Northern Door: $2.47

Sturgeon Bay: $2.47

Other Commodities

Gold: $1,277.00/troy ounce

Silver: $17.86/troy ounce

Oil: $49.21/barrel

Sources:,,,, Bloomberg

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