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North American stock markets end the session higher



(New York) The New York Stock Exchange ended Wednesday slightly higher after a choppy session, reflecting uncertainties about the pace of opening of the Chinese economy.

The Dow Jones index advanced 0.40% to 33,269.77 points, the technology-heavy NASDAQ 0.69% to 10,458.76 points and the broader S&P 500 index rose 0, 75% at 3852.97 points.

Throughout the session, the indices oscillated between red and green. “It’s hard to sustain a rebound, hard to do anything,” commented Karl Haeling of LBBW interviewed by AFP.

“We remain in a waiting position […] after a terrible year on all fronts,” said Art Hogan of B. Riley Wealth Management.

For Karl Haeling, “we will not have an answer to the major questions of the market for a few months, in particular the most important of them: what will inflation do”.

Yet at the start of the day, both equity and bond markets showed momentum, reassured in particular by good data on inflation in Europe.

The rise in inflation in France in particular slowed down in December to 5.9% over one year, against 6.2% in November.

But as Karl Haeling points out, “it appears that most of the decline is due to government subsidies in Germany and France, subsidies which could be lifted in January”.

Hopes of a faster-than-expected reopening of activity in China boosted stocks in the Chinese market, but falling prices for oil and commodities such as copper, “raise fears of still weak Chinese demand for the coming months,” the analyst said.

The publication of the minutes of the last meeting of the American central bank, the Fed, momentarily made the indices go from green to red during the session when it turns out that no member of the Monetary Committee anticipates cut in the key rate in 2023, in the face of much more persistent inflation than expected.

“The Fed minutes lean towards tight monetary policy, but little else was expected. I don’t think we learned a lot,” said Mr. Haeling.

Oxford Economics analysts continue to believe the Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points at its next meeting on May february.

On the odds, the title of the American IT group Salesforce, a member of the Dow Jones, rose 3.58% to 139.60 dollars, hailed for having announced the layoff of 10% of its employees, or almost 8,000 people.

The group specializing in the distribution of management software and cloud computing (remote computing), has 79,000 employees worldwide.

Shares in Wall Street-based Chinese retail giant Alibaba jumped 13.07% to $104 after signs that Chinese authorities may ease regulations on the tech sector.

Tesla shares, which had fallen more than 12% after disappointing delivery figures, rebounded 5.12% to $113.64.

Microsoft fell 4.37% to $229.10 after a bank analyst downgraded on cloud business.

The subsidiary of the American conglomerate GE dedicated to the health sector made a moderately successful entry on the NASDAQ, marking the first stage of the split of the former industrial giant into three separate companies.

GE HealthCare Technologies, trading under the symbol GEHC, fell 4.08% for its first session at $56.

On the bond market, 10-year rates fell to 3.68% against 3.73% the day before.

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