After remaining sluggish in the first part of the session, the Paris market suddenly changed its face after the publication of the 'PCE' index in the early afternoon.

At the final gong, the CAC40 was up +0.89% at 8088 points, helped by Saint-Gobain (+6.9%), Kering (+3.2%) and Schneider Electric (+2.8%).

Over the past week, the CAC40 has gained nearly 0.8%, and is up over 7% since the start of the year.

While the earnings season is in full swing on both sides of the Atlantic, the main event of the session took place at 2.30pm with the release of the US PCE inflation index, which is likely to influence future monetary policy decisions: it came in at +2.7% in March, compared with 2.5% in February, with the underlying rate (excluding energy and food) remaining at 2.8% month-on-month.

US inflation is therefore slightly higher than expected by economists, with Jefferies, for example, forecasting a rate of 2.6% on a reported basis and 2.7% on an underlying basis.
Still on the statistics front, the Commerce Department reported that US household spending rose by 0.8% in March compared with the previous month, while household income rose by 0.5%.

US consumer confidence deteriorated more sharply than initially estimated in April, the final results of the University of Michigan's monthly survey showed on Friday.

The confidence index finally came out at 77.2, below the first estimate (77.9) and down sharply on the 79.4 level reached in March.

However, as on the previous day, Wall Street focused mainly on quarterly results, and was won over by pleasant surprises such as Microsoft (+2.6%) and Alphabet (+10.5%).

Tension is unexpectedly easing on the bond markets, with the US 10-yr yield down 5pts to 4.655%, the Bunds down 6pts to 2.563% and our OATs down 7.2pts to 3.050%.

The estimated probability of a rate cut in June, which stood at almost 64% a month ago according to CME Group's FedWatch tool, has fallen back to around 12% today.

In view of this barometer, expectations of a rate cut in September have fallen back to 44%, on a par with the scenario of a continuation of the 'status quo' (40%).

In French company news, Saint-Gobain last night reported Q1 sales of 11.4 billion euros, down 5.8% on a like-for-like basis, affected by the downturn in new construction in Europe but buoyed by growth in the Americas and Asia-Pacific. Saint-Gobain asserts that it is aiming for a double-digit operating margin in 2024, for the fourth year running.

This morning, Safran reported sales of 6.22 billion euros for the first three months of 2024, up 18.1% on a reported basis and 19.1% organically, with double-digit growth in all its activities.

Airbus reports consolidated adjusted Ebit - a measure of its commercial performance - of 577 million euros for the first three months of the year, compared with 773 million euros a year earlier. Sales were up 9% year-on-year to 12.8 billion euros on the basis of 142 commercial aircraft deliveries, compared with 127 in the first quarter of 2023.

TotalEnergies reported on Friday a 22% decline in first-quarter adjusted net profit, while citing a "solid" performance in line with its targets for fiscal 2024. The group posted adjusted net income of $5.1 billion for the first three months of the year, compared with $6.5 billion a year earlier.

Finally, URW reported first-quarter sales of 942.8 million euros, up 3.7% on the previous year. On a like-for-like basis, sales were up +10.5%.

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