After posting a 1% gain yesterday, the Paris stock market continued its upward momentum, gaining nearly 0.8% in the late afternoon, around 8145 points, supported by Axa, Schneider Electric and Veolia (between +2.1 and +2.2% each).

On the anniversary of May 8, 1945, the market was neglected by traders, with barely 1.2 billion euros traded since the opening, but this did not prevent the Paris index from slowly approaching its closing record reached at the end of March (8253 points to be exact).

Against this backdrop, Swiss asset manager Pictet AM announced yesterday that it had upgraded its recommendation on European equities from 'neutral' to 'overweight', deeming them increasingly attractive.

In its view, the re-acceleration of activity should enable companies to exceed consensus earnings forecasts this year.

Among the few indicators on the agenda, German industrial production fell by 0.4% in volume terms in March compared with the previous month, according to seasonally and calendar adjusted data from Destatis.

'The further contraction in March is a reminder that the German economy is still struggling', says the London office, for whom 'industrial production will still increase slightly over the course of the year, but will remain moderate by past standards'.

Still on the statistics front, data published by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) showed that US crude oil inventories stood at 459.5 million barrels in the week to April 29, down 1.4 million barrels on the previous week's level.

Finally, US wholesale inventories continued to decline in March, falling by 0.4%, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Commerce Department.
In February, wholesale inventories had already fallen by 0.4%.

On the bond front, yields continued to ease in both the US and Europe, with the yield on US ten-year Treasuries falling back to 4.48%, while the German Bund climbed slightly to 2.46%

In French company news, Alstom announced a strong rebound in the second half of the year, with solid order intake, strong organic growth, improved profitability and free cash flow generation of 562 million euros.

Michelin announces a euro-denominated bond issue for a total amount of one billion euros in two tranches of seven and 12 years, with coupons of 3.125% and 3.375% respectively

Finally, TotalEnergies announces the start of production at the Eldfisk North project in the North Sea, ahead of schedule thanks to effective cooperation between the various partners. The project will produce 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at the plateau, and uses the available capacity of Eldfisk's facilities for processing and transporting hydrocarbons.

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