The Paris stock market ended the session down 1.11%, at 8061 points, penalized by declines in Eurofins Scientific (-4.7%), Veolia (-3.5%) and Bouygues (-2.7%).

Over the past week, the Parisian index has shed 0.9%, but retains a gain of over 6.8% since January 1.

Although the publication of the US NFP (employment figures) at 2.30 p.m. was eagerly awaited, it had no impact on equities or interest rates.
The monthly NFP report showed that 303,000 non-farm jobs were created in the USA last month, compared with 270,000 (revised from 275,000) in February.000) in February, while the Reuters consensus forecast only 200,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in March, compared with 3.9% the previous month (Reuters consensus unchanged at 3.9%).

The rise in average hourly earnings - a closely watched component - accelerated to +0.3% in March, after +0.2% in February (consensus +0.3%), but its increase slowed slightly to 4.1% from +4.3% (annualized) the previous month, coinciding with the consensus of 4.1%.

'Labor market signals are not weak enough to offset the bullish surprises on inflation. Hence the Fed's status quo', explain analysts at Oddo BHF.

Proof of the markets' great sensitivity to this theme, Wall Street was the victim of a rare reversal last night following statements by Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

He warned that "if inflation continues to follow a pattern of declines and occasional spikes, the question arises as to whether we shouldn't abandon any rate cuts this year".

While some strategists see this as no more than a slight blip in an underlying trend that remains bullish, others see it as a prelude to a correction that is now inevitable... and the stress was ratcheted up a notch on Thursday evening, with the 'VIX' jumping +14% in 2.5 hours, from 13.7 to 16.50.

The stock markets' solid start to the year increases the risk of renewed volatility in the short term", warns Larry Adam, Chief Investment Officer at Raymond James.

"Stock markets usually experience three to four correction sequences of at least 5% a year, and the last one so far dates back to September 2023", he recalls.

There were also figures on the agenda this morning in Europe: production rebounded in France over one month in manufacturing (+0.9% after 1.5% in January) and in total industry (+0.2% after 0.9%), according to seasonally and working-day adjusted data from Insee.

Bond markets remain "heavy", with OATs and Bunds up +4.8 and +5pts to 2.91% and 2.40% respectively, while Italian BTPs are up +7pts to 3.78%.

T-Bonds re-tested the crucial resistance of 4.400% before balancing out at 4.3800% (+7Pts)... but the scenario of a return to 4.500% is becoming increasingly plausible.

The Dollar stabilized at $1.0830/E, after a -0.6% decline since Monday.

Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and falling Russian refining capacity continue to keep pressure on oil: Brent crude (+0.5%) is hovering around $91.5 a barrel.

Geopolitics continue to push gold up (+1.2%) above $2,328, a new high.

In company news, in response to press rumors, Clariane confirms that it has held an information meeting with members of the CSEC on the possible sale of its home hospitalization and home nursing services (HAD/SSIAD) business in France.

LDC posted sales of nearly 6.2 billion euros for its 2023-24 financial year (ending February), up 6% (+3% on a like-for-like basis and at constant exchange rates), for virtually stable sales volumes (+0.3% on a reported basis and -0.2% on an organic basis).

Rallye, the former parent company of Casino, announced on Friday an annual loss of nearly 8.5 billion euros, mainly as a result of the depreciation in value of the retailer's shares.

Pernod Ricard fell by nearly 2.4% in the wake of a downgrade by Oddo BHF from 'outperform' to 'neutral', with a price target reduced from 190 to 150 euros, following the analyst's lowering of its EPS forecast for 2023-24.

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