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France’s CAC 40 (it’s most widely followed equity index) gained 4.14% today (in local currency), which was its biggest one-day gain since August 2015.  Below is a chart of the CAC 40 over the last four years.  While the index was set to close at a new 4-year high today when we got into the office early this morning, it actually closed the day at 5,268.86, which is just 0.05 points below its closing high of 5,268.91 reached on April 27th, 2015!  French investors will have to wait at least one more day for a new closing high.

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While the French equity market is just a hair off four-year highs, it’s still well below its high seen during the last two bull markets.  Below is a chart of the CAC 40 going back to 1990.  The all-time high for France was back in 2000, and its second highest point came at the end of the mid-oughts bull market just before the Global Financial Crisis.

One thing that the current rally has done is break a series of “lower highs” that the CAC had been stuck in.  We’ve drawn a trend-line in the chart below so you can see the break, which is a positive if you follow market technicals.

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Ironically, while France’s equity market didn’t quite close at a new multi-year high today, Germany’s market did.  In fact, it was a new all-time high for the DAX, which rallied 3.37% on the day, and provides another ilustration of how Germany has been the biggest beneficiary of the single-currency union.  Below is a chart of the DAX going back to 1990.  While France is still 23% below its all-time high from the year 2000, Germany is up 54% since that same point in time.

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