Europe markets edge higher despite political jitters; French election; Software AG up 7.5% – CNBC

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European markets edged higher during early afternoon trade on Friday despite a suspected terrorist attack in France two days before 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 police officer 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, flash euro zone composite PMI (purchasing managers’ index) came in at 56.7 in April, compared to 56.4 in March. This beat expectations of 56.3 in a Reuters poll of economists.

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.

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Europe markets edge higher despite political jitters; French election; Software AG up 7.5% – CNBC

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