Health fears prompt caution in Europe

Health fears prompt caution in Europe
Health fears prompt caution in Europe


PARIS (Reuters) – European stock markets ended lower on Wednesday, as investors favored caution amid uncertainties about the consequences for the economy of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Paris, the CAC 40 lost 0.34% to 6,067.23 points. The British Footsie lost 0.86% and the German Dax ended stable.

The EuroStoxx 50 index fell by 0.18%, the FTSEurofirst 300 by 0.14% and the Stoxx 600 by 0.24%.

The latter posted a gain of 6.2% over the whole of March, its best performance since November, and an increase of 7.8% in the first quarter.

After the promulgation of an economic stimulus plan of 1.9 trillion dollars, Joe Biden must present this Wednesday a major project on American infrastructure, which could give new impetus to the economy.

If this prospect allows Wall Street to move up, European markets have been much more cautious while health uncertainties remain in the foreground.

In France, Emmanuel Macron will speak at 8:00 p.m. to outline the new decisions taken in the face of a health situation deemed worrying due to the worsening of the epidemic.


After its sharp rise the day before against a background of rising bond yields, the banking sector lost 1.23%, the largest sector decline of the day.

Credit Suisse, down 4.93%, hit a low since early November, with the fallout from the US fund Archegos Capital continuing to worry investors.

Another significant drop, that of Deliveroo for its first trading session, the stock having fallen up to 30% below the IPO price.

H&M fell 3.27% after posting a quarterly loss and saying it would not propose a dividend at its annual general meeting.

On the rise, Ipsen gained 4.50% after the European Commission approved the use of Cabometx in combination with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opvido as a first-line treatment for advanced kidney carcinoma.


When the markets in Europe closed, Wall Street was in the green. The Dow Jones gained 0.06%, the S&P 500 took 0.66% to its high and the Nasdaq 1.64%.

The S&P industry index reached an all-time high before Joe Biden presented his plan to invest in infrastructure in particular.


The private sector created 517,000 jobs in March, a figure lower than expected but which still represents a high since September thanks to the progress of the vaccination campaign and the implementation of a new stimulus plan, according to the monthly survey published by ADP.

“Although ADP is not a reliable indicator of changes in the non-farm payroll, it gives a better picture of the labor market,” said Joe Manimbo, senior analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

The publication of this survey precedes by two days the monthly report that will publish Friday the Department of Labor. For March, the Reuters consensus expects the creation of 650,000 non-farm jobs after 379,000 in February.


The at least temporary return to calm on the bond markets after the rise in yields in recent days is not called into question by the acceleration of inflation in the euro zone in March, to 1.3% in annual rate at first estimate 0.9% in February.

The yield on the German ten-year Bund, which hit a two-week high on Tuesday, fell two basis points to around -0.3%. On the American market, the yield on Treasuries of the same maturity fell modestly to 1.7102% against a fourteen-month peak the previous day at 1.776%.


In the currency market, the dollar drops 0.15% against a basket of benchmark currencies after hitting a nearly five-month high.

The euro benefits and climbs back to nearly $ 1.174.

The pound sterling is also advancing against the dollar and the single currency thanks to the upward revision of British growth in the fourth quarter and the prospect of the next stage of deconfinement of the United Kingdom on April 12.


Oil prices are hesitating between the lowering of demand growth forecasts by OPEC + and the announcement of a surprise drop in crude stocks last week in the United States.

The barrel of Brent yields 0.39% to 63.89 dollars and that of US light crude gains 0.53% to 60.87 dollars.

(edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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