(News Bulletin 247) – The Paris Stock Exchange is taking a break this Wednesday evening, after having recorded an absolute high at the opening of the session. The CAC 40 closed slightly down 0.27% at 7,656.75 points. Operators are cautious before the Fed’s decision and the subsequent publication of company results in Paris.

The euphoria that swept over the Paris Stock Exchange at the start of the session has died down like a breeze. The CAC 40, which hit a new high during the session from the opening at 7,702.56 points, finally ended the day down slightly by 0.27% to 7,656.75 points.

The Parisian index thus puts an end to a sequence of five sessions of increase and at the same time deprives investors of a new closing record.

Operators are walking on eggshells before the big meeting this Wednesday evening, namely the decision of the Federal Reserve (Fed) on its interest rates, which will be followed by the speech of its president, Jerome Powell. “The Fed should remain cautious this evening by indicating that it is not yet quite ready to lower its rates in March,” underlines Xavier Chapard, of LBPAM.

Statistics to guide market sentiment

Before this verdict, the market took note of the clear drop in job creation in the private sector in the United States. Only 107,000 jobs were created in January, much less than the 140,000 creations hoped for by the consensus and after 158,000 in December. This statistic illustrates the beginning of relaxation in the labor market, which must however be confirmed by the publication of the traditional federal monthly report (NFP), like every first Friday of the month at 2:30 p.m.

A little earlier today, operators learned of a slowdown in inflation in France and Germany for the month of January, on the eve of the publication of figures for the entire euro zone. In France, consumer prices increased by 3.1% over one year in January, after 3.7% in December, according to figures from INSEE. Across the Rhine, inflation fell significantly again to 2.9% year-on-year in January, the lowest since June 2021, according to the Federal Institute of Statistics Destatis.

“After France and Germany released their inflation data today, we believe that inflation according to the Eurozone core harmonized consumer price index will be 3.2% according to our current forecast, close to our revised forecast of 3.14%, and we expect headline inflation to be 0.1 percentage points lower than we had forecast. This would be an inflation figure firm, discouraging the European Central Bank from reducing its rates in March or April,” estimate Nomura economists.

“It is not certain that this will be enough for tomorrow’s figures for the whole bloc to be lower than the consensus expectation of 2.8%,” Mateusz Urban, economist at Oxford Economics, told Reuters. . “But if this is the case, it would increase the chances of an ECB rate cut in April,” he continues.

Seb, it’s very good

As for French companies, three CAC 40 groups (BNP Paribas, Sanofi, Dassault Systèmes) will reveal their results on Thursday.

Before these heavyweights of the rating, SEB made a strong impression (+6.2%) thanks to satisfactory annual sales and crossing the 8 billion euros mark.

Elis, for its part, limited its lead to 0.3%. The industrial laundry group reported growth slightly below expectations in the fourth quarter but raised its cash flow and margin forecasts for the 2023 financial year.

Vivendi gained 1.6% after confirming its plan to split into several entities, now from three to four, with the stated aim of reducing its conglomerate discount.

On other markets, the euro is almost stable at $1.0847. Oil, for its part, is falling after the surprise increase in crude oil stocks in the United States. The April contract on North Sea Brent lost 1.9% to $80.94 per barrel, while the March contract on WTI listed in New York lost 2.1% to $76.17 per barrel.