(News Bulletin 247) – The Paris Stock Exchange posted copious gains at the close, driven by the progress of Carrefour and Kering. The CAC 40 posted an increase of 1.2% while on Wall Street the trend is more feverish. The surprise jump in retail sales opens the door to further rate hikes from the Fed.

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The records are not very far away. The Paris Stock Exchange put the turbo on Wednesday, supported by publications from good quality companies. The services of Carrefour and Kering have been praised by investors.

The CAC ended up sharply by 1.21% on Wednesday at 7,300.86 points, to close a stone’s throw from its session record of 7,384.86 points. On Tuesday, the trend was much more erratic, limiting the gains of the flagship Parisian index to a modest 0.07%.

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On Wall Street, the atmosphere is a little heavier. The Dow Jones lost 0.4%, the S&P 500 lost 0.22% while the Nasdaq contained its decline to 0.07%.

US operators were scalded by a stronger than expected rebound in retail sales. US households are still willing to spend, evidenced by the 3% rise in retail sales in January. This is their biggest increase since March 2021.

The rise in prices therefore does not undermine the vigor of consumption, which opens the way to a still aggressive posture by the Fed. The US inflation figures for January published the day before nevertheless came out higher than expected by the market. A sign that the battle against inflation is far from over.

Crossroads in the rising department

But for the time being, investors have their eyes turned to the many corporate publications, with two stars who particularly stand out within the CAC 40.

Carrefour ended the day at the top of the CAC 40 (+8.5%) as the retail group managed to stabilize its current operating margin in 2022 (excluding the integration costs of the Brazilian Grupo Big) and generated cash flow which impresses financial analysts. The group also announced a share buyback program of 800 million euros in 2023.

Kering (+3%) for its part published disappointing results, with a drop in Gucci’s revenues of 14% in the last quarter of 2022 alone. Nevertheless, the conference call given by the group’s management reassured the market. “The market understood following the conference with the leaders that the reopening of China would allow the group to grow in the first half, which was not expected, and that the artistic transition underway at Gucci would not have a significant dilutive impact on margins,” said a financial intermediary. “But this rebound can be very short-term,” he warns.

Conversely, a difficult session for Bic, which plunged 9.8%, while the specialist in razors, promotional items and pens anticipates a slowdown in its growth for the current year.

Ecomiam gains more than 9% the day after a rise of 7.1%. The title has posted a good stock market performance since the start of the year after a 70% drop in 2022.

On the other markets, the euro lost 0.5% against the dollar at 1.0672 dollars. Oil contracts are giving way. North Sea Brent crude for April delivery fell 1.5% to $84.08 a barrel while New York-listed WTI for March delivery fell 1.90% to $77.56 a barrel.