The Paris Bourse is set to open with little direction on Thursday morning, amid a cautious mood ahead of the release of eagerly-awaited inflation data for the US and Europe.

At around 8:15 a.m., the March-delivery future contract on the CAC 40 index climbed 1.5 points to 7972.5, pointing to a session start of around equilibrium.

Stock markets have recently benefited from indicators testifying to the strength of the global economy and solid corporate results, an ideal configuration for equities.

While inflationary risk is no longer the main concern of investors, who see rising prices as a sign of good economic health, this does not prevent them from continuing to fear unpleasant surprises on this front.

We saw this two weeks ago, when consumer prices (CPI) and producer prices (PPI) in the US far exceeded expectations", recalls a London-based trader this morning.

With this in mind, all eyes will turn, at 2.30pm, to the publication of the US consumer spending deflator, the Fed's preferred measure of prices.

On average, economists are expecting core PCE - excluding food and energy - to accelerate to 0.4% in January, compared with 0.2% in December.

Investors know that this figure will inevitably be taken into account by Federal Reserve policymakers when deciding on the pace of monetary easing and the forecast schedule for rate cuts in 2024.

According to the FedWatch barometer, the market now rules out any reduction in the cost of money in March and May, but the scenario of a rate cut in June is considered credible by 51% of traders.

On the Old Continent, the first monthly inflation figures for Germany will be published at 2:00 pm, before those for the euro zone as a whole come out tomorrow.

According to analysts, inflation figures on both sides of the Atlantic are more likely to trigger a reaction in currencies and bond yields than in equities.

US Treasury yields are back on the decline in the run-up to these statistics, erasing much of their gains of the week: the ten-year is easing towards 4.27%.

The downturn was less spectacular on the European market, where the German ten-year yield fell by 0.5 points to 2.46%.

On the currency markets, the dollar halted its slide against the other major currencies in anticipation of the US inflation figures, with the euro falling back to around 1.0840 from 1.0825 last night.

As hesitant as ever, the oil market is back in the red, giving up some of the gains of the last two days, but is still heading for a comfortable weekly rise at current levels.

Brent crude is down 0.1% at $83.6 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is down 0.1% at less than $78.5.

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