Markets are breathing a little easier: last night's Israeli bombardment of military targets in Iran had caused a great deal of stress (Tokyo lost up to -4%, the VIX soared above 21, and oil climbed to around $90.75 a barrel on Brent).

But the "immediate and massive retaliation" promised by Teheran failed to materialize, as the media tried to play down the affair (including Iranian officials who spoke of a cyber-attack), China and the United States are calling for calm (which is very different from expressing "condemnation" of one or other of the protagonists), and everything seems to be unfolding as it did last Sunday, with both sides (Iran or Israel/the United States) trying to play down the incident, and the Western media being more than discreet about this "incident" (which constitutes a real "casus belli").

The Paris Bourse, which began the session down -1% on Friday morning (CAC40 below 7.950) is back in the green (+0.1% towards 8.30Pts), so that the week ends with a blank score.
Note that 100% of the CAC40's rise on Friday was attributable to L'Oréal's +4.8% rise.

There were indeed reasons to opt for a risk-off in the face of mounting geopolitical tensions and rising US interest rates... but the VIX has fallen back from 21 to 18.80, Brent crude oil is back below $87.5, the dollar - the traditional safe-haven in the event of geopolitical tensions - is down -0.25% to 1.0670 against the euro.... and Wall Street simply seems a little indecisive (compared with -0.8% pre-opening this morning).

US indices are moving in mixed order, with the S&P500 down -0.2% at 5,000 (6th consecutive session of decline and -3.5% this week), the Nasdaq down -0.8% (i.e. -4.3% this week, the worst since last October) but the Dow Jones up symmetrically by around +0.45% at 37,950.

The serenity that seems to have returned in the space of a few hours is being replaced by renewed tension on the US bond market (which is no longer acting as a safe haven this afternoon): US Treasury yields, which had fallen back slightly this morning, are back on the rise, with the 10-year rising to 4.63%, its highest level since November, while the 2-year continues to flirt with 5.00% (at 4.9700%).

In Europe, our OATs (+1.5pts) ended the week at their worst level since the end of November at 3.0180%, while German Bunds (+1.5pts to 2.5050) and Italian BTPs (+4pts to 3.9060, i.e. +18pts over the week).

Last night, Netflix reported quarterly results in line with expectations, but the stock fell 5% in pre-market trading after announcing that it would no longer publish new subscriber figures in its quarterly accounts from 2025 onwards.

In Paris, service group Sodexo reported adjusted net income from continuing operations up 46.3% to 496 million euros for its first half (to the end of February), and an operating margin up 40 basis points to 5.1%.
Its main competitor Edenred fell -11.5% to 41.4E, a major support.

On the occasion of its half-yearly publication, Pluxee (+5%) raised its annual targets, aiming for organic sales growth of between 15 and 17%, as well as a recurring EBITDA margin of at least 35% at constant exchange rates. The company - which was recently spun off from Sodexo - reported a 25.6% drop in net income to 68 million euros for its first half-year.

While reiterating its 'neutral' position on L'Oréal (+4.8%), UBS has raised its target price from 460 to 467 euros, a new target that offers a 10% upside potential for the world's number one cosmetics company. Last night, the group announced sales of 11.24 billion euros for the first three months, up +8.3% on a reported basis.

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