Little variation in global markets, ahead of the long weekend

Paris (awp/afp) – World markets were mostly quiet on Friday, on the eve of a long weekend, with the end of the year approaching and just before the release of the PCE inflation index in the United States.

European stock indexes were almost flat by 12:45 GMT and continued a flat day: Paris fell 0.01%, Milan gained 0.1%, while Frankfurt was almost flat (+0.02%). In Switzerland, the SMI fell by 0.06%.

The London bourse, which closed earlier at 12:30 GMT, like every last session before Christmas, gained 0.04%.

Wall Street, on the other hand, should wake up negatively. The Dow Jones futures contract lost 0.33%, while its two peers, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, were reported to be almost flat at the open.

This stagnation contrasts with yesterday, marked by optimism in US markets thanks to a revised growth number confirming a slowdown in the US economy with the prospect of a rate cut by the US Central Bank (Fed).

“The slowing economy will allow the Federal Reserve (Fed) to loosen its grip on monetary policy while avoiding a recession if inflation falls and remains low, close to the Fed’s 2% target,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, an analyst at Swissquote Bank.

In Asia, the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended up very slightly by 0.09%, thanks to a clear slowdown in Japanese inflation in November (2.5% over the year versus 2.9% in October).

Hong Kong was in the red after China announced new restrictions on online gaming, sending Tencent down 12.35%, with the Hang Seng closing down 1.69%.

On Friday afternoon, investors in the United States will be watching in particular for the release of the PCE inflation index number for November, expected at 13:30 GMT: this index is the Fed’s preferred barometer for measuring price growth.

“This is the last crucial piece of the Fed’s puzzle,” says Ipek Ozkardeskaya, for whom “if the PCE index is as weak as expected, or even weaker ideally,” markets will continue to grow.

In the bond market, interest rates on government loans fell slightly around 12:50 GMT. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yielded 3.85% after ending at 3.89% on Thursday.

Losing Nike

Nike announced a $2 billion savings plan Thursday night, as well as a downward revision to its annual revenue forecast. The sports giant saw an uneven sales performance last quarter, increasing in China but falling in the United States. A decline which is expected to continue and which worries the markets.

The company’s shares lost more than 12% in electronic trading before the Wall Street open.

Oil rebounds slightly, Bitcoin falls

After falling on Thursday following Angola’s announcement of its withdrawal from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), oil prices rebounded slightly on Friday in a context still marred by tensions in the Red Sea.

The price of a barrel of Brent North Sea for February delivery climbed 0.41% to $72.72. Its US counterpart, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), due in January, rose 0.53% to $74.28.

In the foreign exchange market, the euro was close to balance against the dollar (+0.11%) at $1.1024 per euro.

Bitcoin fell 0.9% to $43,600.


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