After a 1% rise yesterday, the Paris stock market continued its upward trend, gaining nearly 0.9% around 8150 points, supported by Axa (+2.3%), Schneider Electric (+2.2%) and Vinci (+2.1%).

On the anniversary of May 8, 1945, the market was neglected by traders, with barely 1.1 billion euros exchanged since the opening, but this did not prevent the Paris index from slowly approaching its closing record reached at the end of March, above 8250 points.

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

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

Volumes are likely to remain limited this Wednesday, however, due to the absence of some French investors, as Victory Day 1945 is a public holiday in France.

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, which believes that "industrial production will still increase slightly over the course of the year, but will remain moderate by past standards".

On the bond front, yields continued to ease in both the US and Europe, with the yield on 10-year US Treasuries returning to 4.46%, while the German Bund stabilized at around 2.43%

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.

On Wednesday, biopharmaceutical company Medincell announced that it had applied for its shares to be suspended from trading on Euronext Paris, pending the publication of a press release. This decision comes at a time when its share price has soared by more than 106% since the start of the year, a surge driven by the success of its long-acting injectable products.

Michelin has announced 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

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