March starts in the red for european equities


by Marc Angrand

PARIS (Reuters) – The european stock markets have ended in the net retreat on Thursday, the second hearing in the american Congress of Jerome Powell, the chairman of the federal Reserve, have not challenged speculation about a possible acceleration of the rise in interest rates in the United States, a scenario that continues to benefit the dollar.

In Paris, the CAC 40 closed with a loss of 1.09% (57,93 points) 5.262,56 points. In London, the FTSE 100 has dropped at 0.78% and in Frankfurt, the Dax was down 1.97%. The index EuroStoxx 50 has disposed of 1,16%, the FTSEurofirst 300 1,26% and the Stoxx 600 1,26%.

For the latter, it is the big decline on a session from the 9 February and the third consecutive decline.

“The trend towards a recovery in the market is short of fuel and the stakeholders do not know if the market is again in the process of return or if there is a pause before moving forward,” says David Madden, of CMC Markets. “The economic context has not changed, but with the Italian elections over the weekend, traders may opt for a strategy of risk aversion.”

At the time of the close in Europe, Wall Street was virtually stable, after alternating phases of rise and fall since the opening.

As of Tuesday, the u.s. session is moderated by a hearing in the us Congress of the new chairman of the federal Reserve, and Jerome Powell.

After his statements about the strength of us growth on Tuesday, which have revived speculation on the possibility of four rate hikes from the Fed this year and more than three as anticipated up until then, the successor Janet Yellen has focused on Thursday on the lack of tangible evidence of the acceleration of wages or of overheating in the economy.

His remarks have had the effect of slowing down the dollar, which had previously reached its highest level in six weeks opposite a basket of currencies of reference.

To 16.50 GMT, the”dollar index” is not earned more than 0.04% 90,65, after a peak of six weeks 90,932. At the same time, the yield gap between bonds of the us Treasury five-and 30-year-old was digging 1.90 basis points to 50 points and the ten-year ebbing slightly 2,8550%.

Wall Street surrendered to the court before the hearing of the boss of the Fed, the stock market reacting negatively to the economic indicators of the day, in which some observers have seen new arguments in favour of an acceleration of the rate hikes.

The index of consumer prices core PCE increased 0.3% in January, its largest increase in a year, jobless claims fell last week to their lowest level since 1969 and the ISM index of activity in the manufacturing sector exceeded expectations in February from 60.8.


In Europe, the final figures of the manufacturing PMI indexes reflect on the contrary a slight slowdown of growth, but still at a high level.

Side values, the session has been marked by the publications of results, which have elicited strong emotional reactions to upward as well as downward, including for heavy-duty rating.

Carrefour (PA:CARR) fell 6.02%, the largest decline of the CAC 40, after the announcement of a net loss of 531 million euros in 2017 and the prospects very conservative, which augur well for a recovery long and difficult.

The giant british advertising WPP has been still more severely punished: its share has dropped from 8.18% to it, resulting in his wake his French rival Publicis (PA:PUBP) (-3,42%). The turnover of WPP has decreased in the last year and a return to growth is unlikely this year.

Among the values affected by their results or their forecasts are included also the swiss giant of the acting and the recruitment Adecco (SIX:ADEN) (-8,23%), the German specialist in e-commerce Zalando (-6,08%), and group car rental Europcar (PA:EUCAR) (-8,05%).

Had rising PSA (PA:PEUP) won 4,49%, the best performance of the CAC, the market welcoming the best results in the group’s history, marked among other things by a loss-less heavy than expected in Opel-Vauxhall.

Also surrounded, Essilor has made 4,87% after the green light, unconditional of the european Commission and the Federal Trade Commsision (FTC) in the u.s. to its merger with the Italian Luxottica. A time set aside to rise, the latter has gained 5.15 per cent in Milan.

The oil continues to suffer from the strength of the dollar and the prospect of a continuing increase in the production of the United States: income less than 64,50 dollars, Brent crude is trading at lowest level in two weeks.

(Edited by Wilfrid Exbrayat)

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