The Paris Bourse ended the session with a gain of 0.43%, at 7260 points, well helped by Capgemini (+3%), Carrefour (+1.6%) and Pernod Ricard (+1.4%).

The minutes of the US Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, published yesterday evening, were greeted with relative indifference.

While central bank officials believe that tighter monetary conditions are beginning to dampen economic activity, they also note that inflation remains "persistent" in the US.

Further rate hikes therefore remain "on the table" in the event that maintaining current levels does not bring inflation closer to the 2% target.

The day was punctuated by a number of US economic publications: the Labor Department reported a drop of -24,000 (to 209,000) in new US jobless claims for the week ending November 13.

The four-week moving average - more representative of the underlying trend - came out at 220,000 last week, an anecdotal drop of 750 on the previous week's revised average.

The big surprise of the day - in raw data - came from the durable goods orders figure, which fell by 5.4% in October (a record drop since the Covid period).

But excluding aircraft orders, the figure was stable compared with September... so it's a bit of a trompe l'oeil, hence the lacklustre reaction from Wall Street (+0.25%) and the bond markets.
The yield on Treasuries returned to equilibrium at 4.418% after a brief foray below 4.40%, a 2-month low.

US consumer confidence deteriorated in November, but less sharply than expected, according to the final University of Michigan index published on Wednesday.

The final version of the 'UMich' index came in at 61.3, compared with 63.8 in October, while the first estimate was 60.4 and economists were expecting it to be around 61.

This is, however, the 4th consecutive month of decline.

The component measuring consumer sentiment on current conditions deteriorated to 68.3, compared with 70.6 last month, while the expectations component fell by -2.5pts to 56.8 from 59.3 in October.

Inflation expectations have also risen again, with consumers estimating inflation at 4.5% this month, compared with +4.2% in October, a seven-month high.

On the oil market, Brent crude prices fell by 3.6% to $79.4 a barrel. The reason for this was the postponement of the Opec+ meeting scheduled for this weekend in Vienna to Thursday, November 30.

In addition, data published by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) showed that US crude oil inventories stood at 448.1 million barrels for the week ending November 13, marking an increase of 8.7 million barrels on the previous week.

In other French company news, Thales and Hassan Allam Construction announced the signature of a cooperation agreement for the development of digital platforms in Egypt and the Middle East region. The agreement was signed during the Milipol 2023 trade show.

In addition, Thales has been named preferred partner of the Australian Defence Force for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) maritime contract. The Group won an agreement for Regional Maintenance Project East (RMP-E) at the Garden Island Defence Precinct (GIDP) in Sydney, New South Wales.

Egide announced on Wednesday that it had secured financing for the continuation of the turnaround plan for its US subsidiaries, which caused its share price to jump on the Paris stock exchange.

Finally, Alstom won a framework contract worth almost 300 million euros for the development and deployment of the NExTEO signaling system on the RER B and RER D lines in the Île-de-France region.

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