The upcoming French presidential election has investors worried about the possibility of a major shakeup in French and European politics, as Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the right-wing populist to far-right National Front (FN) Party leads the pack in polls for the first round of voting on April 23. She leads conservative Francois Fillon and the more liberal Emmanuel Macron, who are both battling for second place to make the runoff. While Le Pen leads in the first round, she loses in the polls to either man in a head-to-head matchup in the second round, though her support has risen in the past few weeks through her emphasis on security and anti-immigration appeals.
Le Pen, if elected, will work to hold a referendum on whether France should leave the European Union (EU), as Britain did in June of last year. The withdrawal of France, the main political and economic anchor of the bloc along with Germany, would cast doubt on the future viability of the EU. Investors, most of whom support the continuation of the EU, have begun to sell French bonds in favor of German bonds, which are seen as more safer