European stocks amid political worries

Politics have rarely been more fraught on either side of the Atlantic in the post-war era, and yet European stocks are marching steadily higher – casting doubt on the old adage that markets don’t like uncertainty.

Voters go to the polls this year in France, The Netherlands and Germany on a rising tide of populism that is out to challenge the established order built since World War Two.

None of the far-right parties seems to have a strong chance of securing power. Nevertheless, since the surprise outcome of last year’s U.S. presidential election, financial markets remain particularly apprehensive about the possibility, although narrow, of the anti-euro Marine Le Pen winning the French presidency.

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