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FTSE 100 closes flat after French election

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright Getty Images

UK shares closed little-changed as Emmanuel Macron's expected victory in the French presidential election failed to excite markets.

The FTSE 100 share index was just 3 points or 0.05% higher at 7,300.

In France, the Cac 40 index opened higher but quickly lost ground to close 49 points or 0.9% lower at 5383.

On the currency markets, the euro touched $1.1024 in Asian trade - a six-month dollar high - but then fell back to $1.0928.

The pound was a fraction lower against the dollar at $1.29380 but rose 0.3% against the euro to 1.1839 euros.

Market watchers said investors had already priced in Macron's victory and were now looking ahead to what he might do in office.

"With a third of voters backing Le Pen and abstentions highs, there is not universal adoration for the ex-banker. This might make it tougher than he thinks to engineer reforms," said Neil Wilson at ETX Capital.

In London, shares in mining companies slid after the release of disappointing Chinese trade figures. Anglo American and Antofagasta both saw their shares slip more than 2%.

The data showed China's import growth slowing at a faster than expected rate last month, due to weaker imports of iron ore and copper.

Brent crude prices fell 0.8% to $48.69 per barrel, although reports suggested that oil producers were considering extending limits on production.