Beijing • European stocks declined while most Asian markets rose Friday ahead of the first round of voting in France's closely watched presidential election.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC-40 retreated 0.6 percent to 5,043.53 and London's FTSE-100 shed just under 0.1 percent to 7,124.36. Germany's DAX was little-changed at 12,023.01. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.1 percent while that for the Dow Jones industrial average was unchanged.
FRENCH ELECTIONS: French voters will choose among 11 candidates Sunday in the first round of a presidential election that has the country and financial markets on edge, especially after a shooting on Paris' Champs-Elysees boulevard that killed a police officer and wounded three other people. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. Candidates include populists Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon, who both say they want to tear up agreements that bind together the 28 European Union nations. Citigroup said a victory by either could drive a 5 to 10 percent selloff of European equities. Other contenders seen as more supportive of EU membership include Francois Fillon, a conservative former prime minister, and Emmanuel Macron, a former banker and economy minister.