PARIS (Reuters) – The main European stock markets are up slightly on Monday morning, supported in particular by news from China, but trading is sparse in the absence of major economic indicators in Europe and the United States and because of the Christian festival of Pentecost.

In Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.22% to 8,185.79 points around 07:20 GMT. In London, the FTSE 100 advanced by 0.23% and in Frankfurt, the Dax gained 0.23%.

The EuroStoxx 50 index gained 0.02%, the FTSEurofirst 300 0.03% and the Stoxx 600 0.06%.

Futures contracts on Wall Street forecast an increase of 0.03% for the Dow Jones, 0.08% for the Standard & Poor’s 500 and 0.14% for the Nasdaq after a scattered session on Friday.

The indices, driven by the good performance of Asian markets after the “historic” measures taken by Beijing to restore the key real estate sector, are trying to consolidate their recent records.

The improvement in the markets was fueled by the latest figures which show a slowdown in inflation in the United States, which could encourage the American Federal Reserve (Fed) to lower its key rates at least twice this year.

Several officials from the Fed and the European Central Bank (ECB), such as Michelle Bowman and Isabel Schnabel, have however warned that the monetary easing anticipated by the markets would perhaps take longer than expected.

Money markets currently expect the ECB to cut rates by 65 basis points by the end of the year, compared to a 75 point reduction at the start of the month.

On the bond front, the yield on the ten-year German Bund increased by around one basis point, to 2.525%, after an increase of almost seven points on Friday.

In terms of values, Atos fell by 0.86% while the IT group’s bond creditors rejected the takeover offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, citing a project incompatible with their own intentions, according to information published by La Tribune.

EPC Groupe plunges 7.14%, the explosives manufacturing and distribution company having announced on Monday that it had been the subject of a search by the French Competition Authority.

Ryanair lost 1.06% despite announcing a record annual profit of 1.92 billion euros, up 34%. The group said it was “cautiously optimistic” about its summer rates.

The British video game company Keywords Studios soars 61.49% after the confirmation by the investment fund EQT (+0.35%) of advanced discussions with a view to its buyout for 2.2 billion pounds.

On the metals and raw materials market, Brent rose 0.42% to 84.33 dollars per barrel after the announcement of the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi in a helicopter accident, while gold reached a historic high, at 2,440.82 dollars per ounce against a backdrop of slowing inflation in the United States, which opens the way to a reduction in key rates.

On the Stoxx 600, the basic resources index gained 0.78% and that of energy 0.71% thanks to the real estate recovery measures decided by China.

(Writing by Claude Chendjou, edited by Kate Entringer)

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