The Paris Bourse is set to open slightly lower on Wednesday morning, in a climate that remains conducive to profit-taking after the gains of recent weeks and ahead of the publication of a number of key indicators in Europe and the United States.

At around 8:15 a.m., the 'future' contract on the CAC 40 index - December delivery - was down ten points at 7,247.5 points, heralding a note of weakness at the opening.

Yesterday, the Paris market had failed to take advantage of good US figures, which once again highlighted the resilience of activity despite the sudden rise in interest rates.

After spending the whole session in the red, the CAC nevertheless managed to limit its losses in the last few minutes of trading, ending the day on a limited 0.2% decline, on its 7250-point support.

According to Kiplink's technical analysts, "This rather minimal consolidation can be seen as a delay in this latest uptrend".

While the Paris market has tended to catch its breath in recent days, the underlying trend remains bullish, and the famous end-of-year "rally" is still very much alive, according to the chartists.

On Wall Street, too, the engine stalled yesterday, and US equity markets were content to erase their small losses of Monday: the Dow Jones settled for a gain of 0.1% and the Nasdaq recovered around 0.3%.

Today, investors will have to keep an eye on a whole series of major statistics, starting with the first estimate of German consumer prices in November, due out at 2:00 pm.

Christopher Dembik, strategist at Pictet Asset Management, points out: "If German inflation comes out lower, this reinforces the possibility that inflation in the eurozone will fall further, having already fallen more than expected in September and October."

"Obviously, a fall in inflation risks reinforcing expectations of rate cuts by the ECB, which are one of the main factors driving financial markets higher at the moment," he adds.

Another important date is the publication, at 2.30pm, of the second estimate of US gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter.

Economists are betting on confirmation of the first estimate, which showed strong growth of 4.9% in economic activity over the period from July to September.

On the foreign exchange market, the euro weakened slightly before the release of these figures, trading at around 1.0990 dollars, down 0.1%.

On the government bond front, bond yields confirmed their positive start to the week, with the yield on the ten-year Bund falling back to 2.5%, while its US equivalent stood at 4.33%, a two-month low.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is rising slightly ahead of the release of US oil inventories in the afternoon, and on the eve of a much-anticipated OPEC meeting.

Brent crude is currently up 0.2% at $76.6 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is up 0.1% at $81.7.

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