(News Bulletin 247) – The Paris Stock Exchange should open on a weak note on Wednesday morning, as Microsoft’s lackluster results somewhat dampened investor enthusiasm.

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Around 8:15 a.m., the ‘future’ contract on the CAC 40 index – February delivery – fell three points to 7058.5 points, announcing a slight decline at the opening.

The technology sector is likely to weigh particularly heavily on the trend, under the influence of the lackluster performance unveiled yesterday evening by Microsoft, the American software giant.

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If they exceed forecasts, the figures of the group of Redmond (Washington) are down from one year to another, testifying to the economic slowdown currently at work on the planet.

‘Information provided during the conference call also raises the prospect of a slowdown in Azure’s revenue during the first quarter,’ said Deutsche Bank analysts.

The title Microsoft fell by more than 1% in pre-market quotations, which penalized futures contracts on the major New York indices, with in particular an expected decline of 0.6% for the Nasdaq.

Wall Street had already ended without much direction Tuesday evening following the quarterly results variously welcomed by heavyweights of the rating like 3M, GE or Verizon.

At the end of trading, the Dow Jones rose 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell symmetrically by 0.3%.

The Parisian market had behaved a little better, thanks to PMI activity indices that seemed to ward off the threat of an immediate recession on the Old Continent.

After hovering around its equilibrium point throughout the day, the CAC 40 closed the session with a moderate gain of 0.3% to 7050 points.

Risk-taking should remain limited on Wednesday pending the publication, during the morning, of the Ifo index of the business climate in Germany, expected to rise to 90.3 by the consensus against 88.6 the preceding month.

‘A further improvement in economic sentiment would add to the already positive signals from other statistics such as the ZEW and the PMI, thus alleviating the risks of recession in the markets’, warn economists at Danske Bank.

The day will also be driven by a new wave of quarterly results with announcements from the Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASML, the American telephone operator AT&T and the aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

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