(News Bulletin 247) – Still marked by its 3.6% fall the day before, the CAC 40 picked up a bit of color in mid-session. Investors have their eyes on the meeting of the European Central Bank with the hope that it could decide to raise its key rates less than expected.

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The Paris Bourse is struggling to heal its wounds. The CAC 40 progressed a little this Thursday the day after its plunge of 3.58%, gaining 1.3% to 6,977.52 points at mid-session.

Fears about the bank Credit Suisse, which collapsed on the stock market on Wednesday, have eased somewhat thanks to the intervention, in particular, of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), which has indicated that it is ready to make cash available to the Swiss bank. In the process, Credit Suisse decided to activate an option allowing it to borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs.

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Strong interventions that allow Credit Suisse shares to regain 24% on the Zurich Stock Exchange on Thursday. Still, the fact that the Swiss bank has found it useful to activate this option may not be completely reassuring.

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The ECB under pressure

European banks, which had fallen on Wednesday, are also struggling to rebound after their plunge the day before. BNP Paribas only took over 1.7%, Société Générale was stable and Crédit Agricole SA lost 0.1%. “We still see a mistrust in a sector overrepresented in most management,” noted Frédéric Rozier, manager for Mirabaud France, on BFM Heritage.

Some caution may also be displayed by the market before the end of the meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday. Its members had indicated their desire to raise key rates by 50 basis points, or 0.5 percentage points. But several consultancies estimate that it could opt for a lower increase, of 25 basis points, in view of the recent tensions in the banking sector.

“The press conference will be crucial, especially considering that Christine Lagarde has a habit of making vague comments that disrupt the markets,” warns Capital Economics.

“It must reassure investors that no major European bank in the euro zone is in the same position as Credit Suisse and, more importantly, underline that institutions in the euro zone have the unequivocal support of the ECB”, continues the think tank.

On the other markets, the euro recovered 0.3% against the dollar at 1.0607 dollar after falling sharply the day before. Oil prices are sluggish, the contract on Brent from the North Sea for delivery in May loses 0.1% to 73.61 dollars a barrel while that of April on WTI listed in New York gives up 0.3% at $67.50 a barrel.