The Paris Bourse was down 0.88% at 7914 points, penalized by Stellantis (-4.3%), STMicro (-3.7%) and TotalEnergies (-2.5%).

The index's decline was nevertheless held in check by Teleperformance, which gained nearly 14%, ahead of Engie (+2.5%).

Caution thus prevailed in the wake of the May 1st bank holiday, marked by Jerome Powell's speech, which cast doubt on the timing of the next rate cuts (a consensus seems to be emerging for the November meeting, or the one in mid-December).

Wall Street tried to reassure itself with a "little phrase" from Jerome Powell affirming that the Fed's next move will "probably not" be a rate hike... but investors must accept that the outlook has changed considerably in 4 months, with expectations of 7 cuts revised to one easing (150Pts away from the initial scenario).

Indeed, the Fed notes that growth remains 'solid', job creation and consumption remain robust, while inflation has stopped falling for several months now.

'The inflation problem may not be easy to solve if the economy continues to do well', admit Commerzbank analysts.

For the German bank, no interest-rate cut is therefore to be expected before December.

Uncertainty surrounding the monetary easing agenda is 'taping' US bond yields to the levels of the previous day, i.e. before the 8 p.m. press release, with the '10-yr' broadly unchanged at 4.625% (-1Pt). In Europe, OATs and Bunds eased symbolically by -2.5Pt to 3.05% and 2.556% respectively.
On the statistics front, US industrial orders rose by a further 1.6% in March 2024, according to the Commerce Department (following a 1.2% increase in February).

US industrial shipments rose by 0.3% in March compared with the previous month. With inventories virtually unchanged, the inventory-to-delivery ratio remained unchanged at 1.47 month-on-month.

Non-farm productivity rose by an annualized 0.3% in Q1 2024, according to the Labor Department's first estimate, driven by a 1.3% rise in total output and a 1% increase in hours worked.

Given this weak rise in productivity, but also a 5% increase in hourly wages, non-agricultural unit labor costs in the United States climbed by 4.7% for the first three months of this year.... that's what's got the markets riled up.

The US trade deficit remained virtually unchanged at $69.4 billion in March, compared with the previous month's $69.5 billion (which was revised from an initial estimate of $68.9 billion), according to the Commerce Department.

This 0.1% month-on-month decline in the deficit resulted from a 1.6% drop in US imports of goods and services, to $327 billion, and a 2% contraction in exports, to $257.6 billion.

Weekly jobless registrations stagnated once again at 208,000 (and that's 2 months 'standing still').

On the European statistics front, the HCOB PMI index for eurozone manufacturing industry fell below the 50 mark of no change between contraction and growth for the 22nd consecutive month, signalling a further deterioration in economic conditions in April.

Having fallen from 46.1 in March to 45.7, it also highlights a slight acceleration in the contraction of the eurozone manufacturing sector compared with the previous month, with strong divergences in trends at national level.

In France, the PMI manufacturing index fell from 46.2 in March to 45.3 in April, marking the 15th consecutive deterioration in the sector's economic situation, with contraction at its fastest pace since January.

The euro gained 0.5% against the greenback, to $1.07/euro.
Finally, in the news for French companies, Worldline reports first-quarter 2024 sales of just under 1.1 billion euros, with organic growth of 2.5%, as a 3.9% increase in merchant services more than offset a 1.4% decline in financial services.

Technip Energies reported EPS for the first three months of 2024 (adjusted) up 11% to 0.50 euros, but a recurring EBIT margin down 0.3 points to 7.3% on sales up 8% to 1.52 billion euros.

For the first three months of the year, ArcelorMittal posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) - the indicator most closely followed by investors - of $1.96 billion, up 34% on the previous quarter.

Finally, Lacroix announces that it has finalized the sale of its signage segment to the industrial investment company AIAC, having obtained the approval of the relevant authorities for this transaction, announced for December 2023.

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