French independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron gestures during a campaign rally in Albi, southern France, Thursday, May 4, 2017.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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Independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron appeared to cement his position as favorite for the French presidency Thursday as the dust settled on a rancorous final televised debate with far-right rival Marine Le Pen.Three days before the final round of France's most important election in decades, the premium investors demand to hold French bonds over German ones reached its narrowest point in six months, reflecting perceptions that Le Pen, the markets' nightmare scenario as French president, had missed her last chance to unseat Macron.According to a snap poll by Elabe for BFMTV, 63 percent of viewers found Macron the more convincing of the two candidates in Wednesday night's debate, reinforcing his status as favorite to move into the Elysee Palace.Twenty-six percent found Le Pen more persuasive, while 31 percent chose neither candidate, Harris said.And Thursday, a survey of voting intentions by Ifop-Fiducial showed Macron extending his lead over Le Pen to 61-39 percent from 60-40 the previous day.
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