by Blandine Henault

PARIS (Reuters) – The main European stock markets are expected to open without much change on Monday, before a week full of events and while the stock indices are moving to new highs.

According to the first available indications, the Parisian CAC 40 could gain 0.13% at opening. Futures contracts report an increase of 0.09% for the Dax in Frankfurt, a decline of 0.25% for the FTSE in London and a gain of 0.14% for the Stoxx 600.

The CAC 40 remains not far from a historic high reached on Thursday, while the Nikkei exceeded 40,000 points on Monday for the first time in its history and Wall Street closed on Friday with records. Corporate results, enthusiasm around the theme of AI and expectations around an upcoming cut in interest rates from major central banks are supporting risky assets.

Expectations of a rate cut, thwarted at the start of the year, could further evolve this week with the monetary policy meeting on Thursday of the European Central Bank (ECB). A status quo on rates is widely expected, as is a downward revision of the inflation forecast, which could signal a future drop in the cost of credit.

“Focus will be on changes to macroeconomic projections and the tone, which should be ‘dovish’ but cautious – in a risk management posture that should point to June for the first rate cut,” say analysts at NatWest Markets in a note.

Another big meeting of the week, the hearing in Congress (Tuesday and Wednesday) of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, and the publication (Friday) of the American employment figures, always eagerly awaited.

A WALL STREET

The New York Stock Exchange ended higher on Friday with new records for the S&P-500 and the Nasdaq, still driven by the frenzy around stocks linked to artificial intelligence and the fall in bond yields.

The Dow Jones index gained 0.23%, to 39,087.38 points. The S&P-500 gained 0.80%, to 5,137.08 points. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.14% to 16,274.94 points.

Futures on the three indices currently signal near stability for the Nasdaq and a slight decline for the Dow Jones and the S&P.

IN ASIA

The Tokyo Stock Exchange ended up 0.5% at 40,103.23 points, a new historic closing high thanks to the progression of technology stocks.

In China, caution is required before the opening Tuesday of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese Parliament, which fuels high hopes of seeing the world’s second largest economic power adopt new recovery measures. The growth objective for gross domestic product (GDP) is also traditionally set on this occasion, which will undoubtedly still be 5% for this year.

The composite index of the Shanghai Stock Exchange increased by 0.14%, the CSI 300 of large capitalizations in mainland China fell by 0.17%.

EXCHANGES/RATES

Variations are limited on the dollar and US yields after the decline last week linked in particular to PCE inflation figures in the United States.

The greenback is unchanged against a basket of reference currencies while the ten-year Treasuries rate rises more than two basis points, to 4.2072%.

OIL

Crude prices react little to announcements from OPEC+, whose members agreed on Sunday to extend the current agreement to reduce crude production until the end of the second quarter in order to avoid oversupply.

The barrel of Brent is stable at 83.56 dollars and that of American light crude (WTI) falls by 0.14% to 79.86 dollars.

(Written by Blandine Hénault)

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