U.S. Stock ETFs Take a Back Seat to French Election Risks

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds slipped Friday as investors shied away from risk assets ahead of Sunday’s highly contested French national elections.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO), were down 0.4% Friday.

U.S. markets weakened ahead of Sunday’s French presidential election as investors worry about the potential fallout if an anti-European Union candidate wins.

“Generally, U.S. stocks look pretty good, but we’ve held off our reallocation process review…in part because of the French election and any disruptions it might cause,” Michael Thompson, managing director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, told the Wall Street Journal.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron is leading most opinion polls and is expected to go head-to-head against a second-round run-off with Marine Le Pen, head of the anti-E.U. and anti-immigration National Front, reports Tanya Agrawal for Reuters.