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Europe: Shares slip from highs as Macron win seen priced in

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[MILAN] European shares briefly hit fresh highs in early deals on Monday before dipping into the red, pulled lower by banks and resources-related stocks, as the widely anticipated result of the French presidential vote spurred some profit-taking.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 per cent, while France's CAC fell 0.4 per cent after hitting its highest levels in more than 9 years and the German DAX was flat, holding near record highs.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected French president with a business-friendly vision of European integration, defeating Marine Le Pen, a far-right nationalist who threatened to take France out of the European Union.

"Because it is broadly in line with recent polls, this result has already been largely anticipated by market participants and therefore we would expect the extent of any new'relief rally' to be more modest than what we experienced after the first round," said Julien Lafargue, European equities strategist at JP Morgan Private Bank.

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Banks, which are more sensitive than other sectors to political factors, also turned negative. The euro zone bank index was down fell 0.7 per cent after earlier hitting its highest since November 2015.

French banks BNP Paribas and Societe General fell more than 1 per cent.

Some market participants have speculated that a Macron win could be the last piece of the puzzle for the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi to begin rolling back from its ultra-loose monetary policies.