As on Monday, the Paris Bourse (+0.9% to 8,068) and other European markets (+1%) increased their gains in the wake of Frankfurt (+1.2 to +1.3% to 18,400, 0.8% off record highs), Amsterdam (+1.3% to 900Pts).
The CAC40, which climbed above 8,060, benefited from gains by STMicro (+3.2%), Pernod Ricard (+2.7%) and banks (+2.2%).060 benefited from gains by STMicro (+3.2%), Pernod Ricard (+2.7%) and the banking sector (+2.4% for Société Générale, +1.6% for BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole).

Across the Atlantic, Wall Street is struggling to amplify its gains: US indices, which were expected to be flat this morning, reopened up by +0.1% to +0.2% (with unusual homogeneity), but the Nasdaq is now flat, the S&P500 +0.2%, the Dow Jones +0.2%.
Overall, US stocks have been stagnant for the past 90 minutes.

To try and see the glass as half full, the ongoing easing of interest rates should reassure investors: US stock gains could be amplified (same scenario as yesterday).

US T-Bonds erased -6Pts of yield to 4.426%, while the 2-year stagnated at 4.81% (-1.2Pts), meaning that the inversion of the curve is worsening (a technical precursor of economic slowdown).

Euro-denominated debt also erased -5.64pts, with OATs at 2.926% and Bunds at 2.42%... Italian BTPs only erased -3.5pts to 3.7700%.

On the eve of public holidays (Armistice and Ascension) and in the absence of any major economic indicators, the rise in European indices is explained above all by the absence of sellers (1.1 billion euros traded in 6.5 hours).

Against this backdrop, some strategists are beginning to worry about stock markets' heavy dependence on the performance of technology mega-caps.

Equity markets are highly concentrated, centred on the 'Magnificent Seven' (31% of Nasdaq capi), with significant dispersion in performance at stock level", points out Nanette Hechler-Fayd'herbe, analyst at Lombard Odier.

"Historically, such high levels of concentration have often been followed by a return to the mean, against a backdrop of stock market correction", she warns.

On the statistics front, seasonally-adjusted retail sales volumes rose by 0.8% in March in the eurozone and by 1.2% in the EU, compared with February 2024, according to estimates from Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office.

In France, the trade balance improved slightly in March, according to CVS-CJO data from the customs administration, with the deficit narrowing to 5.47 billion euros from 5.61 billion in February.

This timid improvement reflects a 2.9% month-on-month increase in French exports to over 52.2 billion euros, while imports rose by less than 2.4% to 57.7 billion.

Brent crude oil continues to consolidate (-1%) at $82.8 a barrel, while WTI is trying to hold on to the $78 mark on the NYMEX (-1.2% at $77.8).
The Dollar loses a few fractions against the Euro (-0.1%) at 1.0780, while Gold stabilizes at $2,320/Oz.

In French company news, Arkema reports net income before non-recurring items down 14.8% to €138 million for the first quarter of 2024, or €1.84 per share, and EBITDA down 4.6% to €350 million, for an EBITDA margin slightly up by 0.5 points to 15%.

Bouygues reports net income, group share, of -146 million euros for the first quarter of 2024, a loss widened by 12 million year-on-year, but recurring operating income from activities (ROCA) of 26 million euros, an improvement of 17 million.

On the occasion of Xi Jinping's state visit to France, TotalEnergies announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese energy group Sinopec, aimed at deepening their collaboration, particularly in low-carbon energies.

Finally, Suez announced the signing of three strategic agreements on ecological transition with its Chinese partners Envision, Chongqing Sanfeng Environment and Dongguan Water Group.

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