Geopolitics and financial markets do not mix well, especially when the former poses the threat of armed conflict. Down for the third time this week, the Bedroom 40 lost 0.26%, to 6,946.82 points, in a trading volume of 4.2 billion euros. The Parisian index hit a low of 6,905.69 points in the afternoon, following statements by the ambassador of the United States to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. According to her, Russia seems “heading for an imminent invasion from Ukraine, despite Moscow’s denials.
Gold, a safe haven
These remarks follow mutual accusations by pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine of violations of the ceasefire established in June 2020. Sign that the time is not for appeasement, the American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken changed his agenda at the very last minute to intervene at the meeting of the UN Security Council. Faced with a potentially explosive situation, some investors have found refuge in gold, a safe bet par excellence. The price of the yellow metal rose by 25 dollars, to 1.894 dollars per ounce on the spot market. At the same time, yields on the German Bund and the US 10-year bond eased. Conversely, the barrel of Brent fell 1% to 93 dollars, while an agreement between Washington and Tehran on Iranian nuclear would be imminent.
The other topic of the moment concerns, again and again, inflation and the monetary policy strategy of the American Federal Reserve (Fed). Published Wednesday evening, the minutes of the last meeting of the Fed brought few new elements. Officials said it would soon be appropriate to start raising the cost of money, implicitly acknowledging a first hike in March. It is their only certainty. For the rest, it is vague, whether on the extent of the rise in key rates, the number of increases in 2022 or the extent of the reduction in the size of the balance sheet. All of this will be determined gradually, as the next meetings progress, and according to the activity indicators. Minutes ” do not allow to decide on an increase of 50 or 25 basis pointsestimates the cabinet Aurel BGC. Uncertainties about the Fed’s next decisions persist. » « The Fed can’t wait to cast a ratemaggedon Armageddon of rates, adds Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics. 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 on the podium
This Thursday, operators were able to find comfort on the side of corporate results. Many of them revealed their 2021 financial performance. And they were generally well received. Thus, the luxury group Kering climbed 4.95%, taking the lead in the Cac 40. Gucci’s parent company was pleased to have achieved ” excellent performance in 2021, with record sales of more than 17 billion euros, 35% above the level of 2020 and 13% above that of 2019. Also surrounded, crossroads gained 4.83%. The 2021 results, boosted by France’s good scores, exceeded analysts’ expectations and the distribution group was 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.
Apart from the flagship index, Klepierre took 5.69%. The commercial property company indicated that its cash flow net current per share for 2022 would exceed last year’s level, while footfall and rent collection in its shopping centers returned in the second half of 2021 to levels close to what they were before the Covid-19 pandemic .
Conversely, the title of the collective catering group Sodexo dropped 6.05% after the surprise confirmation of Sophie Bellon as general manager, a position she had already held on an interim basis since October. Finally, Air France-KLM fell 7.63% Thanks to progress in vaccination, the air carrier had a better than expected fourth quarter, but the absence of forecasts beyond the first quarter and the prospect of new recapitalization and refinancing operations, for an amount of up to 4 billion, weighed on the title.