March 2, 2017 / 3:38 PM / 10 months ago

French/German yield gap below 60 bps for first time in a month

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - The premium investors demand for holding French government bonds over German peers shrank to a fresh one-month low on Thursday, with markets comforted by presidential election frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s bid to outline his plans for the economy.

Macron, a former investment banker running as an independent centrist, is favourite to win the unpredictable race in a May run-off against far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

He said on Thursday he would root out inequalities in France’s pension system, sell government stakes in major firms and downsize parliament as he sought to silence critics who say his bid is thin on substance.

“Any significant candidate, whether that’s Macron or (Francois) Fillon, that highlights they have a plan is likely to be viewed as positive by markets,” said Rabobank strategist Matt Cairns.

“This not only reduces the chance of a Le Pen victory but outlining a concrete plan for the economy defuses the market sensitivity to fragmentation risk in the euro zone that is implied by a Le Pen victory.”

The French/German 10-year bond yield gap tightened to around 58 basis points , falling below the 60 bps mark for the first time in a month. (Reporting by Dhara Ranasinghe, editing by Nigel Stephenson)

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