The Paris Bourse is set to open slightly lower on Monday after three sessions of gains, with investors opting for a cautious approach ahead of new indicators and the final publications of the earnings season.

At around 8:15 a.m., the future contract on the CAC 40 index - which has now switched to the March timeframe - was down 13.5 points at 7778.5 points, signalling an unchanged start to the session.

Buoyed by growing optimism about the health of the economy, the Paris index set new record highs at the end of last week, well above the 7700 mark, and is now up almost 3% since the start of the year.

After the deluge of results, statistics and monetary decisions of recent weeks, the week ahead promises to be quieter than previous ones.

Investors are unlikely to take the initiative this Monday, as US markets remain closed for the 'Washington's Birthday' celebrations.

The week in Europe nevertheless promises to be lively, on Thursday, with the preliminary results of S&P Global's surveys of private-sector purchasing managers (PMIs).

While these indices remain below the crucial 50-point threshold in Germany and France, synonymous with a contraction in activity, economists are hoping for a brightening in the Old Continent at the start of the year.

With the end of destocking, orders firming up, energy prices normalizing and the prospect of further rate cuts, a modest improvement in economic conditions could begin to materialize.

The market will also take stock of the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy with the release, on Wednesday, of the 'minutes' of the January meeting, which saw the Fed keep rates unchanged.

Expectations of a rate cut in the US have been sharply revised downwards recently, in the wake of good figures on growth, employment and inflation.

Whereas at the start of the year, the market was expecting a rate cut of 175 basis points from March onwards, this has now been reduced to 100 basis points, starting in June.

But the highlight of the week will undoubtedly come on Wednesday evening with the release of quarterly results from Nvidia, the spearhead of artificial intelligence (AI) whose processors equip many supercomputers.

Analysts are expecting the chipmaker to exceed expectations and raise its targets, but with a gain of 46% already this year, any disappointment could result in profit-taking.

While the fourth-quarter publication season is drawing to a close, a number of other US heavyweights will be unveiling their performances this week, including Walmart and Home Depot.

In Europe, the week looks set to be another relatively busy one, with upcoming announcements from Air Liquide, Carrefour, Nestlé, Mercedes-Benz, AXA, Engie, Deutsche Telekom, Allianz and BASF.

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