The Paris Bourse gained 0.99% to 8075 points, led by EssilorLuxottica (+3.2%), Pernod Ricard (+3.1%) and STMicro (+2.9%).

The banking sector was not to be outdone, with Société Générale up 2.5%, BNP Paribas up 2% and Crédit Agricole up 1.8%.

Across the Atlantic, US T-Bonds erased 6pts of yield to 4.426%, while the 2-year stagnated at 4.81% (-1.2pts), meaning that the inversion of the curve is worsening (a technical precursor of an economic slowdown).

Euro-denominated debt is also down -5.6 pts, with OATs at 2.926% and Bunds at 2.42%... Italian BTPs are only down -3.5 pts at 3.77%.

On the eve of public holidays (Armistice and Ascension) and in the absence of major economic indicators, some strategists are beginning to worry about the stock markets' heavy dependence on the performance of technology mega-caps.

Equity markets are highly concentrated, centred on the 'Magnificent Seven' (31% of Nasdaq capi), with significant dispersion of performance at stock level", points out Nanette Hechler-Fayd'herbe, analyst at Lombard Odier.

"Historically, such high levels of concentration have often been followed by a return to the mean, against a backdrop of stock market correction", she warns.

On the statistics front, seasonally-adjusted retail sales volumes rose by 0.8% in March in the eurozone and by 1.2% in the EU, compared with February 2024, according to estimates from Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office.

In France, the trade balance improved slightly in March, according to CVS-CJO data from the customs administration, with the deficit narrowing to 5.47 billion euros from 5.61 billion in February.

This timid improvement reflects a 2.9% month-on-month increase in French exports to over 52.2 billion euros, while imports rose by less than 2.4% to 57.7 billion.

Brent crude oil continued to consolidate (-0.7%) at $83 a barrel, while the euro held steady against the greenback at $1.076/E and gold gained 0.5% to around $2,314 an ounce.

In other French company news, Arkema reports net income before non-recurring items down 14.8% to €138 million for the first quarter of 2024, or €1.84 per share, and EBITDA down 4.6% to €350 million, for an EBITDA margin slightly up by 0.5 points to 15%.

Bouygues reports net income, group share, of -146 million euros for the first quarter of 2024, a loss widened by 12 million year-on-year, but recurring operating income from activities (ROCA) of 26 million euros, an improvement of 17 million.

On the occasion of Xi Jinping's state visit to France, TotalEnergies announces the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese energy group Sinopec, aimed at deepening their collaboration, particularly in low-carbon energies.

Suez announces the signing of three strategic agreements on ecological transition with its Chinese partners Envision, Chongqing Sanfeng Environment and Dongguan Water Group.

Airbus announces that it has finalized the acquisition of US company Aerovel and its Flexrotor, a small tactical unmanned aerial system (UAS) designed for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

Finally, Clariane announces that it has received a promise to purchase from the Fondation Santé Service and has granted an exclusivity agreement with a view to selling its Hospital activities.

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