Friday, 5th May: As the French presidential election comes close to its end, the polls seem to be suggesting that the centrist candidate Macron is set to win, his chances of which were boosted after the final televised debate which took place with his opponent, Le Pen, who so far, has earned being described as anti-immigration and anti-EU. Of course, nothing is set in stone, and after all no one believed Trump would actually make it into the White House either, but four new polls have suggested that Macron was likely to win 62% of the votes.
Greenpeace certainly made it clear who they were backing, after carrying out a stunt which led to a security increase at the Eiffel Tower. Using helmets, ropes, and shackles, Greenpeace activists took it upon themselves to hang out a 300 square metre banner with a political message. The banner carried the French national motto “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite”, followed by “#Resist”, directed against Le Pen and her party. A dozen Greenpeace activists were arrested after the stunt.
Back over in the UK, the FTSE started off the day 16 points lower at 7232, mainly due to the sudden drop in oil prices of over 3% which happened in only a few minutes in mid-day Asian trading. The FTSE made a recovery throughout the day as the drop in oil slightly picked back up, and it was also offset by the performance of the biggest gainers for the day. The likes of Pearson, IAG, M&S, and Easyjet all carried the FTSE back up to 7270 in the afternoon, higher than what it started the week at, and by the end of the day, it was up 42 points higher at 7290.
Pearson stayed firmly at the top of the index all day. The publishing group was soaring, and at one point in the morning was up around 17% at 771p. This all came after they announced their Q1 trading update, cost-cutting plans, and initiative to sell off the US unit. The estimated annual cost savings plan of £300m and encouraging 6% organic revenue growth left investors feeling confident in Pearson, as they ended the day around 12% up at 739p.