The Paris Bourse ended the session down 0.61%, at 8092 points, penalized in particular by the decline in luxury goods, with Hermès down 4.2%, LVMH down 2.1% and Kering down 1%.

The luxury goods sector, which is closely linked to the Chinese market, could be impacted by growing tensions between Beijing and Taiwan following the inauguration of a new pro-independence president in the island state.

After a spectacular recovery in early May, the Paris market has tended to stall over the past week.

In a market without any real conviction, where traders are waiting for a sign indicating the direction to take, Nvidia's results - due later this evening - will be the big event of the week.

If Nvidia beats expectations, which it probably will since it has done so eight times out of the last nine quarterly results, this could give the market a little bullish impetus", predicts Christopher Dembik, Investment Strategy Advisor at Pictet AM.

On the other hand, the 'number of the day' provoked no notable reaction: sales of older homes in the US fell by 1.9% in April, to an annualized rate of 4.14 million units, according to statistics released on Wednesday by the Federation of Realtors (NAR).

Compared to April 2023, when they stood at 4.22 million units, resales are still down 1.9%.

The median price of a property rose by 5.7% year-on-year to $407,600, marking a tenth consecutive month of growth and a new record for an April.

Still on the statistics front, data published by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) showed that US crude oil inventories stood at 458.8 million barrels in the week to May 13, signalling a limited increase of 1.8 million barrels on the previous week.

Investors are now eagerly awaiting the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, which will also be published this evening at 8pm.

These 'minutes' could provide valuable clues as to the timing of future interest rate cuts in the USA.

'Recent comments from FOMC members show no rush to put rate cuts back on the table', say Oddo BHF's economists.

'The Fed can probably wait until the end of the summer to get a clearer picture', add the private bank's analysts.

According to the CME Group's FedWatch barometer, the probability of a rate hike in the autumn is now estimated at 50.8%, compared with 45.6% a month ago.

Investors' indecision is reflected in narrow swings in 10-year Treasuries, which are stagnating at around 4.415%, while the German equivalent is at 2.526% and the OAT at 3.018% (+1.8Pt respectively).

In currencies, trading was also flat, with the euro stable against the greenback at around $1.0835/E.
Gold consolidated by -1.5% at $2,390 per ounce, following the previous day's record high of $2,430.

Brent crude is currently down 0.4% at $82.2, its lowest level since the consolidation period of mid-February to early March.

In French company news, Schneider Electric announces the completion of its preliminary discussions with Bentley Systems with a view to a potential strategic transaction, the two groups having mutually agreed not to proceed with such a transaction.

LVMH announces the expansion of its partnership with Alibaba to 'push the boundaries of the luxury experience in China, leveraging Alibaba's cloud technologies, through AI-powered retail innovations and the Tmall e-commerce site'.

Bouygues Construction has announced that its Moroccan subsidiary Bymaro will build the Mohammed VI International University Hospital in Rabat, scheduled for delivery in September 2025, at a cost of almost 450 million euros.

Renault announced on Wednesday the opening of orders in France for its new Symbioz, a compact vehicle positioned at the entry level of the C segment.

Thales Alenia Space, owned 67% by Thales and 33% by Leonardo, has signed a €25 million contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the "LEO Cargo Return Service", a service for transporting cargo to and from space stations in low-Earth orbit.

Finally, Air France-KLM announces that existing bonds for a total nominal amount of 452.7 million euros, representing 36.2% of the shares concerned in circulation, have been tendered and accepted to its cash offer launched on May 13.

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