The Paris Bourse ended the first session of the week with a moderate gain of 0.28%, at 7956 points, driven by Thales (+2.2%), BNP Paribas (+2%) and Airbus (+1.8%).

Today's action remains limited in Europe ahead of an intense week, which will be marked mainly by US employment figures and the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy meeting.

Market operators are mainly awaiting the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy meeting on Thursday, at the end of which a "status quo" is widely anticipated.

The ECB's Governing Council is expected to remain vigilant regarding the disinflation process underway on the Old Continent, and to postpone the debate on the first rate cuts until a later date.

Friday's publication of a less pronounced than expected slowdown in inflation in the eurozone in February eased the pressure on the central bank's shoulders somewhat.

According to Alexandre Baradez, Head of Market Analysis at IG France

, "It is above all the pressure on wages that is preventing the monetary institution from cutting rates". "But it would be surprising if a first cut did not occur in the second quarter, perhaps not at the April meeting, but probably more at the June meeting", he adds.

The week ahead will also see Fed Chairman Jerome Powell address the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Investors are also likely to err on the side of caution ahead of Friday's release of monthly US employment figures, perhaps the highlight of the week.

Given the strength of the US labor market in recent months, the Labor Department's figures could influence market expectations regarding the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, which meets in two weeks' time.

The consensus is for an average of 200,000 job creations in February, following January's fireworks display of 353,000 new positions - double the market forecast.

Investors will also continue to keep an eye on the political news in the United States, with tomorrow's primaries in some 15 states, a crucial day known as 'Super Tuesday'.

'Biden and Trump are expected to win by a wide margin in their respective camps', Oddo BHF's teams pointed out this morning. Barring a twist of fate, these will be the candidates on November 5", the private bank points out.

Bond markets are moving in mixed order, with -3Pts on our OATs (2.8700%) and Bunds, but +4.2Pts on T-Bonds to 4.2210%.

The Dollar is down -0.2% to $1.0860/E, and Brent crude is trading around $83.3 a barrel.
The ounce of gold is heading for a record close at $2,120/Oz (the second crossing of the $2,100 mark in history, after December 4, 2023), a bullish surge to watch, and potentially linked to geopolitical news that is becoming tenser by the day between NATO and Russia, Israel and Lebanon (which the markets have been ignoring since December).
Note also the performance of bitcoin, which reached a new high of around $66,280 (+6.2%).

In French company news, Airbus reports that American Airlines has signed a firm order for a further 85 A321neo aircraft, bringing its total order for this type of aircraft to 219.

Carrefour announces that it has given an investment services provider (ISP) a mandate to buy back its shares over a period starting March 4, in accordance with the program for a maximum of 700 million euros announced alongside its annual results.

Saint-Gobain announces that it has signed an agreement to sell its treated wood products business (posts, fences, railings) in Ireland (PDM) and the UK (Calders & Grandidge), to the Iivari Mononen group.

TotalEnergies announces that it has laid the foundations for cooperation with Bapco Energies, the national company in charge of Bahrain's energy transition, to optimize the Sitra refinery and trade in its petroleum products.

Veolia announces the finalization of the sale of SADE-CGTH, its 100% subsidiary specializing in the construction and rehabilitation of water and infrastructure networks, to the public works group NGE, for an enterprise value of 260 million euros.

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