The Paris Bourse is set to open with little change on Tuesday morning, continuing the pause begun the previous day as it awaits further details on inflation in the United States.

At around 8:15 a.m., the March futures contract on the CAC 40 index was down 14.5 points at 7933.5, heralding a weak start to the session.

The Paris market closed on Monday with a limited decline of around 0.5% to 7929 points, ending a series of eight consecutive sessions of gains.

The positive sequence that ended yesterday was buoyed by a rather reassuring earnings season, as well as better-than-expected economic indicators.

Investors are bracing themselves for a softer session, with concerns over valuation levels adding to questions over US inflation and rates.

Since their last record highs, the equity markets seem to be looking for direction, which is hardly surprising after several weeks of gains.

Despite a promising start to the session, Wall Street ended in the red on Monday evening, with buying relays now scarcer after last week's Nvidia hurricane.

According to strategists, the high valuations achieved by stocks are increasingly arguing for a pause.

After a gain of over 6% since January 1, the S&P 500 is currently trading at 23 times earnings, well above its 20-year average of 17.3x, argue analysts at Citi.

The uptrend that has been underway since the start of the year is putting increasing pressure on fundamentals to justify the high valuations", the US bank points out.

In this sense, Thursday's publication of the PCE index of consumer spending excluding food and energy, the Federal Reserve's preferred indicator for gauging inflation, will act as a test.

On the bond market, the stock market pause did not encourage a return to Treasuries, with the yield on the US ten-year bond nearing the 4.30% mark, its highest level since the end of November.

The dollar, which has been losing a few fractions a day since mid-February, continues to show weakness, particularly against the euro, which gained 0.1% to 1.0855.

Oil prices are gaining ground, a move attributed by specialists to a repositioning of institutional investors towards energy.

'Buy positions have risen by 17% on oil (...) in one week. This is speculation, in our view. It's not sustainable', note the teams at DeftHedge, a specialist in currency and commodity risk management, in their latest market update.

The two benchmark crude oil contracts nonetheless posted small gains, with U.S. light crude (WTI) up 0.2% to $77.7 a barrel, while North Sea Brent also gained 0.2% to $82.7.

Copyright (c) 2024 All rights reserved.