(News Bulletin 247) – The CAC 40 remains on the rise at mid-session after having recorded a historic high in the session and crossed 7,400 points around 10 a.m. Investors are hoping the Federal Reserve will moderate its rate hikes.

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Early on, the CAC 40 pushed its limits a little on Monday. The flagship index of the Paris Stock Exchange set a new record at the very start of the session, also crossing the 7,400 point mark around 10 a.m. The new all-time high is now at 7,401.15 points. At mid-session, the CAC 40 remains up 0.3% to 7,373.13 points.

The market continues its good trend of the weekend which had been fueled by the statements of the President of the Federal Reserve (Fed) of Atlanta, Raphael Bostic. The latter had called for caution on the next increases in the Fed’s key rates, because the US economy has not yet felt the full effect of previous increases.

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Raphael Bostic also argued for a 25 basis point (0.25 percentage point) rate hike at the next Fed meeting. Which is also the scenario the market is betting on, with a 72% probability, versus 28% for a 0.5 point rate hike, according to data from the CME Group.

Elior headlining

Still, these expectations could be undermined, or on the contrary reinforced, by the hearings, Tuesday and Wednesday, of the President of the Fed, Jerome Powell, before the two chambers of the American Congress.

Another event likely to influence market expectations: the US employment figures for the month of February, which will be published on Friday afternoon. This publication can sometimes cause considerable movements on the equity and foreign exchange markets.

In terms of values, pending the burst of annual results with in particular the end of the season for the CAC 40, Elior is advancing by 6.4% after signing an agreement to take over the multi-service branch of metal recycling specialist Derichebourg.

Atos wins 7.4%, because “the market continues to digest the good annual results and to hope that the acquisition by Airbus of 30% of the capital of Evidian [future filiale d’Atos, NDLR] will materialize, on the basis of an enterprise value between 6 billion and 7 billion euros”, slips an analyst.

Bonduelle (-4%) suffered profit taking after gaining more than 5.5% following half-year results deemed satisfactory by the market.

On the other markets, the euro is stable against the dollar at 1.0627 dollar. Oil is losing ground. North Sea Brent for May delivery fell 1.6% to $84.48 a barrel while New York-listed WTI for April delivery fell 1.6% to $78.42 a barrel.