CAC 40 Moves to Gains on Upbeat Friday Morning

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Somewhat in defiance of expectations for a muted session in the lead up to Donald Trump’s inauguration later today, the CAC 40 has shown strong gains from its starting position down on yesterday’s close. The French benchmark index is currently sitting on a gain of 0.35% and is exhibiting positive momentum. After Thursday’s session finished with a modest loss, followed by losses on Wall Street and for many of the Asian indices this morning, expectations were for a relative lack of direction today. For most of this week markets have been largely on pause, waiting for policy indications contained in Trump’s inauguration address and the new administration’s first actions in office.

Yesterday’s ECB meeting also failed to provide any particular catalysts, with interest rates unchanged and the European Central Bank’s bond buying program continuing as planned. The only real information contained in the meeting’s output was forward guidance that interest rates are expected to stay at present levels for the next couple of years. While ECB President Mario Draghi intimated that the Eurozone economy was steady he struck a slightly dovish tone to suggest that the environment was not robust enough to sustain interest rate rises within the foreseeable future.

Supermarket Carrefour is showing the strongest gains so far today with a rise of 2.86%. The retailer posted Q4 earnings on Wednesday and recorded a fifth consecutive year of sales growth. Q4 like-for-like sales excluding petrol beat analyst forecasts to rise 2.9% to 23.4 billion euro when 23.24 billion euro had been forecast. Full year sales showed 3% growth, buoyed by a strong performance by the company in Europe and Latin America.

Materials and specialist components company Compagnie de Saint Gobain is up 1.52% today so far and integrated oil and gas major Total by 1.25%.

Mass media company Vivendi is showing gains of 1.5%. The company is reportedly edging closer to a contentious takeover of Italian peer Mediaset and reports today have suggested that the company could be set to sell its 24% stake in Telecom Italia. The rumours have it that the move was being considered to appease regulator concerns over the French company’s growing influence in Italian media and communications but has been denied by Vivendi.

Aerospace company Safran, which it was announced yesterday will acquire fellow-French aircraft cabin specialist Zodiac Aerospace for somewhere in the region of $9 billion is up 1.41% today after its share price fell yesterday on the announcement.

Tyre maker Michelin is the heaviest faller today, down 1.41% with other fallers including Peugeot (-0.77%) and TechnipFCM (-0.85%), the newly merged offshore industry contractor that debuted on the CAC 40 this week in its new form.

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