LONDON: European stock markets opened lower Monday after French far-right leader Marine Le Pen secured her place for a run-off vote against President Emmanuel Macron.
In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.6 percent to 6,507.47 points and Frankfurt's DAX slid 1.2 percent to 14,109.49, reports AFP.
The outcome sets up what is expected to be a tight run-off between the pair later this month.
Outside the eurozone, London's FTSE 100 index slid 0.6 percent to 7,624.45 points on news that the UK economy had ground to a near halt.
Gross domestic product growth slowed sharply to just 0.1 percent in February on a sharp drop in industrial output, official data showed.
The economy had expanded by 0.8 percent in January as Omicron coronavirus curbs were lifted.
The outlook remains clouded by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as a growing cost-of-living crisis at home.
"Near-term challenges to the outlook have ramped up since, with a growing cost-of-living crunch set to weigh on growth.
"Businesses are also grappling with headwinds from the Ukraine conflict."