The Cac 40 in the red, new twist in the Ukrainian file, Market news

The Paris Stock Exchange is struggling to erase its decline the day before in a market that remains erratic. The trend also looks undecided on Wall Street. Investors are in fact torn between good corporate performance and uncertainty about Russian intentions with regard to Ukraine. Tensions escalated as, according to Reuters, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made a last-minute schedule change to intervene in a Security Council meeting on Thursday. of the United Nations on Ukraine.

The risk of slippage is rekindling appetite for so-called safe-haven assets. An ounce of gold rose more than 22 dollars to 1,892.33 on the spot market, while yields on the German Bund and the 10-year US bond eased. Conversely, the barrel of Brent fell by almost 2% while an agreement between Washington and Tehran on Iranian nuclear power would be imminent. A breakthrough in the file would allow the rapid return of some 1.3 million barrels per day to the market.

At 2:45 p.m., the Bedroom 40 lost 0.19% to 6,951.97 points, after a peak at 7,017.07 (+0.74%), in a business volume of 1.8 billion euros. The contracts future March on US indices fell between 0.3% and 0.6%.

Mutual accusations

The United States and NATO denounce an increase in the Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border, thus denying the announcements of partial withdrawal brandished by Moscow and described as ” false by Washington. Adding to the confusion, Ukraine’s foreign minister accused pro-Russian separatists of attacks on a village in the east of the country. A response to reports from the Russian Novosti agency that Ukrainian forces fired mortar shells at Moscow-backed militias. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) regularly report mutual violations of the ceasefire agreement established in July 2020.

As for the other major theme of the moment, the US Federal Reserve did not seem to have decided at the end of January (before the latest employment and inflation figures) on the magnitude and number of rate hikes expected this year. . According to the “minutes”, published yesterday evening, of the January meeting, the members of the monetary policy committee agreed on the need to raise the rate of the federal funds soon and say they are ready to accelerate the movement if necessary. But only two of the committee members are in favor of stopping the asset purchases immediately.

Bullard’s position is not a majority

The reference to the fact that a faster acceleration than expected in the withdrawal of accommodative measures could be necessary if inflation does not evolve as expected is undoubtedly a little more aggressive. ” But nothing in the minutes suggests that James Bullard’s ultra-hawkish position is shared by the majority of the FOMC. notes Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics.

He adds that, although the timetable may change, the members of the committee seem to be counting on the implementation of quantitative tightening (reduction of the balance sheet) from the middle of the year. This option will be examined at future meetings and its modalities are still to be discussed. In summary, ” the Fed is not eager to launch a ratemaggedon (Rates Armageddon). The market now puts the odds of a 50 basis point hike in the Fed funds rate in March at 36.6%, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, up from more than 90% at the start of last week.

Kering and Carrefour lead the Cac 40

Kering increased by 6.3%. The parent company of Gucci recorded an acceleration in its organic growth in the fourth quarter, driven by its flagship brand Gucci, as well as a rebound in its profitability for the whole of 2021. 5.41 billion euros in the fourth quarter, up 31.9% compared to the same period of 2020, on a comparable basis. It clearly exceeded the expectations of analysts who expected an average turnover of 4.85 billion euros, according to FactSet.

crossroads wins 6%. The 2021 results, boosted by France’s good scores, exceeded analysts’ expectations and the group is calm for 2022, despite an environment complicated by inflation. The savings plan for 2025 has been tough and the group aims to continue improving its performance in France. The dividend was raised to 0.52 euros per share and the share buyback program was increased to 750 million for 2022.

Klepierre advance of 4.8%. The commercial real estate company indicated that its net current cash flow per share for 2022 would exceed the level of last year, while footfall and rent collection in its shopping centers returned in the second half of 2021 to levels close to what they were. they were before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sodexo gives up 4.7%. The collective catering group has announced the confirmation of Sophie Bellon as general manager, which she had already held on an interim basis since last October. This appointment is a “surprise” insofar as Sodexo had defined several criteria for the position, including better relations with the United States and expertise in digital services, underline Bernstein analysts.

Air France-KLM drop of 7.6%. Thanks to progress in vaccination, the airline had a better than expected fourth quarter. The group is working on new recapitalization and refinancing operations, for an amount of up to 4 billion euros, in order to strengthen its balance sheet.