Treasury prices fell on Tuesday, sending yields higher, after French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron cemented his front-runner status with a strong performance in Monday night's debate, market strategists said.
Far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon came in second place with 20%, while centre-right candidate François Fillon, who is embroiled in a family expenses scandal, and Le Pen both at 19%.
With polls showing Macron would rout the anti-immigration Le Pen, 48, in the decisive run-off if the election were held today, he is expected to face the most heat in the three-hour debate starting at 2000 GMT. "I want to attract the French people's attention to the fact that every time you talk, you say a bit of this, a bit of that, and never decide".
Le Pen mocked Macron for being "void" of content when he spoke and - while referring to his past jobs as a banker, civil servant and minister - denounced candidates who "indisputably defend private interests, not the interests of the French people".
"(Le Pen's) visit can be explained by a tacit support of the favourite candidate of the presidential elections and the continuity of France's African policy, which undermines the hope of the African youth and consolidates dictatorships in place", Halata said earlier this week.
Francois Fillon, the conservative candidate of The Republicans party who has been embroiled in an expenses scandal, convinced 27 percent.
Polls show that far right leader Marine Le Pen could come first in the April 23 first round, but would lose heavily to Macron in the runoff.
"That's called Project Fear, Mr Fillon".
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The Socialist Party's Benoit Hamon took issue with Le Pen's claim that public schools are wracked by violence, calling her remarks "nauseating". "When I have something to say, I say it clearly", he also told Le Pen when she said that he was secretly in favour of the burkini, the Islamic-style swimsuit.
Francois Fillon, left, and his wife Penelope arrive for the debate.
Fillon mocked Le Pen when she suggested Brexit had been fantastic for the UK.
He is under investigation for allegedly paying her for non-work as a parliamentary assistant.
Le Pen, for instance, derided the bloc in her opening statement, saying she wanted to be "the president of the French republic", not to "administer what has become a region, a vague region of the European Union".
Mr Fillon said during the debate that he was the only politician who could drive real change in France.
Le Canard Enchaine, the newspaper which broke the allegations about the jobs for Fillon's relatives, reported in its latest edition that a Lebanese billionaire paid a company owned by Fillon $50,000 in 2015 to arrange introductions to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne. "I will organise a referendum and there will be a national debate".
Six smaller candidates were excluded from Monday's debate.