Asian investors waiting for French election result before increasing exposure to Europe -CS

PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) - Asian investors are waiting for

the result of the French presidential election in May before

increasing their exposure to European equities, Credit Suisse

strategists said in a research note on Tuesday.

"While investors seem to have become increasingly

comfortable with the European story, many are waiting for the

French elections before increasing their exposure to Europe,"

the Credit Suisse team said in a note published after the Swiss

bank held an Asia investment conference in Hong Kong.

French stock and bond prices have rallied over the last

month on growing signs that centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron

will win the election, although some investors remain concerned

by the relative popularity of anti-euro, far-right National

Front leader Marine Le Pen.

France's benchmark CAC-40 equity index is up by

around 5 percent so far in 2017, broadly in line with a similar

gain on the pan-European STOXX 600 index.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain)