Central banks support the markets – March 21, 2024 at 6:09 p.m.

Paris (awp/afp) – Central bank meetings are giving momentum to the stock markets of the United States and the United Kingdom, even if the enthusiasm has been calmed a little with the publication of economic indicators on both sides of the Atlantic.

The day after the meeting of the American Central Bank (Fed), positively received by investors, Wall Street was still celebrating: the Nasdaq gained 0.74%, the S&P 500 by 0.61% and the Dow Jones 0. 81% around 4:50 p.m. GMT.

Markets were relieved that Fed officials were still determined to cut key rates three times in 2024, despite the latest data showing persistent inflation.

However, today's economic data in the United States continued to show that the fight against inflation was not over, underlines Anne Beaudu, bond manager at Amundi.

“We continue to have figures which show the resilience of the American economy”, both on the job market and on economic activity, with price indicators “which show persistent inflationary tensions, which is the market's concern since the start of the year”, she describes.

This caused a rebound in the dollar, and in state interest rates from their low point after the Fed meeting.

In Europe, London gained 1.88%, its best session in five months, after the Bank of England meeting which suggested monetary loosening was approaching.

The Swiss Central Bank surprised the markets by opening the door to rate cuts for Western central banks, and the Zurich Stock Exchange gained 0.73%.

In the euro zone, the mood was darkened by March economic activity data in France and Germany, weaker than expected. Paris only gained 0.25%, but Frankfurt was able to bounce back more clearly and ended with a new closing record (+0.91%).

In Asia, Hong Kong jumped by 1.93%, and the flagship index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Nikkei, by 2.03%, ending on a new record.

On the bond market, the interest rate on 10-year United States bonds reached 4.27% around 4:45 p.m. GMT, easing compared to its level at the start of the week, to 4.32% at close on Monday.

Apple attacked by the American administration ___

The American government took Apple to court on Thursday for anti-competitive and monopolistic practices linked to the iPhone and the constraints set by the Californian group on application developers.

The stock fell 3.73%. Since the start of the year, it has already seen 10% of its value soar, or nearly $300 billion.

Investors shun Douglas

The European leader in high-end perfume stores Douglas experienced a difficult return to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Thursday, ten years after its delisting, the operation intended to be used to reduce its debt. Douglas shares closed at 23.06 euros, down 9.56% compared to their first trading price, set at 25.50 euros.

Adidas sidelined ___

The German Football Federation (DFB) announced Thursday that it had signed a partnership contract with the American giant Nike for the period 2027 to 2034, shocking news for the German equipment manufacturer Adidas (-0.37%) under contract with the Mannschaft for 70 years.

__ New record for gold ___

The Fed's announcements propelled the price of gold to a new all-time high of more than $2,220.89 per ounce on Thursday. It had been pushed by the prospects of a rate cut, but the change in investors' perspective after the data in the United States penalized the price. Around 4:45 p.m. GMT, an ounce of gold was only worth $2,177.46 (-0.41% during the session).

The price of a barrel of Brent from the North Sea, for delivery in May, fell 0.59% to 85.44 dollars. Its American equivalent, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), lost 0.66% to 80.73 dollars.

The euro lost 0.57% against the dollar, at 1.0860 dollars per euro.

Bitcoin lost 0.83% to $65,520.


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