The Paris stock market gained almost 0.5% this morning, around 7950 points, helped by the banking sector with +4.2% for Société Générale and +3.7% for Crédit Agricole.

A slight wind of optimism is blowing in the run-up to the publication of US employment figures, which will fuel the debate on the timing of the Federal Reserve's next rate cuts.

The US employment report, the market's key statistic, will be the highlight of a week that has been dominated by the Fed's statements and the postponement of its monetary easing horizon.

The market's reaction to the employment figures will be decisive for weekly performance: for the week, which was cut short due to the May 1st holiday, the CAC 40 is currently down by around 2%.

The employment figures will be all the more closely watched as the Federal Reserve has made them, almost on a par with inflation, a fundamental element in the orientation of its policy.

Non-farm payrolls in the US will provide important information on the tightness of the labor market, which is crucial to the outlook for monetary policy", points out Monica Defend, Director of the Amundi Investment Institute.

The latest indicators have confirmed the strength of the US economy, and reinforced a fortiori the cautious stance adopted by the Fed.

Job creation was again surprisingly strong in the first quarter, with an average of 276,000 new jobs created per month", point out Oddo BHF's teams.

"The labor market still looks solid, but with no signs of wage overheating", adds the private bank.

"Much weaker employment conditions would be needed for the Fed to really weigh up the downside risks to activity against the upside risks to inflation", continues Oddo. At present, the inflation mandate predominates and justifies a 'status quo'," concludes the bank.

Economists are expecting an average of 250,000 new jobs excluding agriculture to be created in April, compared with 303,000 in March, with the unemployment rate stable at 3.8%.

Supporting the Paris Bourse, Societe Generale this morning reported a 21.7% decline in net income, group share, to 680 million euros for the first quarter, well above the consensus figure of 475 million euros.

Crédit Agricole SA reports underlying net income (group share) up 54.7% to 1.93 billion euros for the first quarter of 2024, and underlying gross operating income up sharply by 36.1% to 3.15 billion.

Legrand reports net income (group share) down 16.5% for the first three months of 2024, to 275.9 million euros, with adjusted operating margin before acquisitions down 1.6 points to 20.6% of sales.

Maurel & Prom announces that the Board of Directors will finally submit a dividend of 0.30 euro per share for 2023 to the AGM on May 28, instead of the initial proposal of a stable dividend of 0.23 euro announced alongside its annual results.

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