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Friday, April 21, 2017

Brexit & Beyond: Candidates Seize on Paris Attacks, ‘Frexit’ Chaos, U.K. Retail Sales Drop Steeply

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Brexit & Beyond: Europe in Flux is The Wall Street Journal’s round-up of news and analysis of how Brexit will affect global business, economies and finance. You can sign up here.

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Campaign posters of French presidential election candidates in Bailleul, northern France, two days before the first round of the election.
PHOTO: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

French Presidential Candidates Take Positions on Paris Attack: French voters awoke Friday to a rapidly shifting political landscape as candidates locked in a four-way presidential race seized on the Champs-Élysées attack in an attempt to gain an edge before voting begins Sunday.

If Brexit Is Messy, ‘Frexit’ Would Be Chaos: French presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon have proposed returning responsibilities to Paris from EU power centers but the repercussions of a ‘Frexit’ would be far greater than those of Brexit, writes Stephen Fidler.

French Business Leaders Urge Voters to Reject Euroskeptic Candidates: The leaders say ‘extremist’ candidates, including nationalist Marine Le Pen and leftist firebrand Jean Luc Mélenchon, would seriously damage France’s economy.

France’s Two-Round Electoral System Spells Period of Volatility for MarketsFor investors, elections in France are just different: a two-round system that lets them shift bets, reassess polls and scout for bargains.

France Fires Up Eurozone Economy Ahead of Presidential Poll: A gauge of activity in the eurozone’s manufacturing and services sectors rose to a six-year high in April, aided by a pickup in France ahead of presidential elections scheduled to start Sunday.

U.K. Retail Sales Drop in March as Inflation Hits Consumers: U.K. retail sales fell steeply on the month in March, data showed Friday, as price increases fueled by the pound’s sharp post-Brexit vote depreciation caused Britons to rein in spending.

U.K. Treasury Chief Confident of Reaching Trade Pact With U.S.: U.K. Treasury chief Philip Hammond said Friday he is confident the U.K. and the U.S. can strike a wide-ranging free-trade accord once Britain has left the European Union.

Germany Slams U.S. Steel Imports ProbeGermany criticized the U.S. decision to launch a national security probe into steel imports and urged Washington to respect international World Trade Organization rules.

The U.K. Election Campaign Trail on Friday: May commits to aid, tactical voting drive, Corbyn stays on domestic policy.

What’s Making Britons Grumpy? Voting, Voting, Then Voting Again: Three national elections in just over two years have tested a nation’s commitment to civic duty, putting “Brenda from Bristol” in a snit; “that’s quite enough, thank you very much.”

IN THE PAPERS

Brussels Hardens Brexit Line on EU Workers’ Rights – Financial Times

Britain Told to Keep EU Laws or Jeopardize Brexit Deal – The Times

Northern European Mini-Summit Seeks to Soften Brexit Blow – Politico

Emmanuel Macron Increases Lead Against Marine Le Pen: Poll – Politico

Germany Keeps Giving Britain a Brexit Brush-Off – Bloomberg

For breaking news and intelligence on Brexit, finance, markets, deals and people from London, download WSJ City for iPhone or Android smartphone. And you can find more analysis of politics, economics and regulation in the European Union over on Real Time Brussels. 

April 21, 2017 at 10:32PM

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from Stephen Fidler

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