After spending most of the day in positive territory - with a peak of 8147 points (+0.5%) - the Paris Bourse stalled at the end of the session.

At the final gong, the Paris index was down by just 0.17%, to 8091 pts, penalized by sharp declines for Eurofins Scientific (-7.7%), Kering (-6.9%) and Orange (-3.6%).

The CAC40 has to contend with strong bond tension, with yields climbing back up to their worst annual levels.

US 10-years are up +5pts to 4.655%, Bunds are up +8pts to 2.586%, our OATs are up +8.6pts to 3.0086%, and Italian BTPs are up +13pts to 3.946%.

Rate tension was exacerbated by the release of US durable goods orders, which rose by 2.6% last month compared with the previous month, following a sequential increase of 0.7% in February (revised from an initial estimate of 1.4%).

Excluding the usually erratic transportation sector, where orders rose by 7.7% month-on-month, US durable goods orders rose by just 0.2% in March, according to the Commerce Department.

Earlier in the day, investors took note of Germany's Ifo business climate index. The index rose from 87.9 in March to 89.4 in April, above the 89 expected by Capital Economics, with increases in both the expectations and current conditions sub-indices.

Such figures will not allay concerns about reawakening inflation, nor the uncertainty surrounding future rate cuts by the FED and ECB.

Still on the statistics front, data published by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) showed that US crude oil inventories stood at 453.6 million barrels in the week to April 15, down 6.4 million barrels on the previous week's level.

In Europe, as on Wall Street, the quarterly corporate accounts season has so far been well received, even though the major US technology groups have yet to publish.

Some strategists remain cautious: in a study published at the beginning of the week, JPMorgan warns against a "tipping over" of the equity markets, which they consider too "complacent" with regard to current valuation levels.

In particular, the US investment bank says it is concerned about the markets' lack of ability to identify potential bearish catalysts, low volatility, persistent inflation, tightening credit conditions and geopolitical tensions.

The euro is down 0.1% against the greenback, at $1.069/E, while Brent crude oil is down 0.3%, at $88.2. Gold remains stable at around $2,328 an ounce.

In French company news, Orange reports EBITDAaL for the first three months of 2024 of 2.41 billion euros, up 2.3% on a comparable basis, in line with its objective of slight growth over 2024, on sales of 9.85 billion euros, up 2.1% on a comparable basis.

Eurofins Scientific reports sales of 1.65 billion euros for the first three months of 2024, up 5% on a reported basis, despite negative currency and calendar effects.

Air Liquide posted sales of 6.65 billion euros for its first quarter of 2024, down 7.3% due to lower energy prices and currency effects, but up 2.1% on a comparable basis.

TotalEnergies announced on Wednesday that it would partner with Vanguard Renewables, a portfolio company belonging to BlackRock's infrastructure business, to develop biomethane in the United States.

Finally, Alstom announced that it had completed the construction of the 'Alstom Grivita Depot' in Bucharest (Romania), a new facility dedicated to the maintenance and testing of electric trains and locomotives.

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