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CAC40: flirting with 7,350, Powell's comments without impact

( - The month of December is off to a strong start, with gains hovering around +0.
4% since 10 a.m. this morning.

The Paris Bourse gains nearly 0.6% for the week, which will be the 5th consecutive rise since October 26.

The CAC40 is pulled towards 7,345/7,350 by Worldline (+5%) and Essilor (+2%)... but volumes remain poor, with a mere 1.1 billion euros in 7 hours of trading (and even the day before, when volumes would have exploded to 7 billion euros, only 1.5 billion euros were traded at the same time.

Europe remains well oriented, with the E-Stoxx50 up 0.5%, outperforming the US indices with a -0.1% decline in the S&P500, which is still capable of posting its 19th session of gains out of 23... the Dow Jones is up 0.1%.

U.S. indices dipped insensitively after Jerome Powell said it was premature to talk about a rate cut (adequate figures would be needed for several months) and confirmed that a rate hike was still on the table... but he was clearly not believed, and his comments were pure rhetoric.
Wall Street prefers to believe Gldman Sachs, which now believes in an easing of the cost of money as early as the 2nd quarter of 2024.
Goldman Sachs sees oil moving between $80 and $100 in 2024, which means that falling energy prices will no longer be the driving force behind falling inflation.

While the CAC and S&P500 have just ended their best month of the year (for 43 years), many analysts are pointing out that the worst-case scenario has now been ruled out, which augurs a new upward sequence for equity markets.

December is traditionally a buoyant month for the stock markets, with end-of-year balance sheet adjustments seeing managers sell underperforming stocks in favor of winning ones to make their portfolios more attractive.

In terms of figures, the contraction in US manufacturing slowed in November, according to the monthly ISM (Institute for Supply Management) survey published this Friday.

The index was perfectly unchanged last month at 46.7, the same level as in October, whereas economists were expecting it to rise to 47.8.
The new orders sub-index rose to 48.3 from 45.5 the previous month, still in the contraction zone (below the 50-point threshold), while the employment sub-index fell to 45.8 from 46.8 in October.
In the same vein of precursors to industrial activity, investors this morning took note of the HCOB PMI index for manufacturing industry in the eurozone, produced by S&P Global
. The index recovered from 43.1 in October to 44.2 in November, its highest level since last May, but still pointing to a sharp contraction in the sector.

The data once again point to declines in activity, new orders, purchasing volumes and inventories, but the outlook for business has improved. At the same time, purchase prices have again fallen sharply.

On the bond market, 10-year T-Bonds eased -7pts to 4.28% (despite Powell's comments), the German Bund for the same maturity eased -7pts to 2.38% and the French OAT eased -8pts to 2.9400%, a "low" since late summer.

In currencies, the dollar rallied by +0.5%, with the euro falling symmetrically to $1.0440.

In the energy market, Brent crude failed to benefit from yesterday's announcement of a "voluntary" (i.e. non-binding) cut in OPEC+ production, falling by 1.8% to $81.5 a barrel.

In French company news, Pierre & Vacances reports net income of -20.6 million euros for its 2023 financial year, compared with +325 million the previous year, but adjusted EBITDA of 137.1 million, up 74% on the 2019 financial year (pre-Covid reference).

TotalEnergies announced on Friday that it had signed an agreement with the British Prax group to sell its minority stake in a refinery in South Africa.

Thales reports that it has signed an agreement to insure its entire pension scheme in the UK, a decision that will result in the recognition of a financial expense.

Finally, noting the opening of insolvency proceedings in respect of several entities of the Signa group, Peugeot Invest reports that its exposure to this group represents 2.9% of revalued gross assets, which stood at 6.4 billion euros at the end of June.

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