Weekly markets’ wrap: European stocks see a rise on ECB rate cut hopes

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European shares ended the week on a lively note on Friday morning, following investors banking on renewed hopes that the European Central Bank (ECB) may cut interest rates sooner than anticipated.

This came after comments made on Thursday to France 2 TV, in which Christine Lagarde said: “I think that rates, barring any further shocks or unexpected data, will not continue to go up. And if we win our fight against inflation, and if we are certain that inflation will indeed be at 2%, at that point rates will start to go down.”

However, she cautioned that an exact date for when monetary loosening might begin could still not be anticipated.

Positive gross domestic product results from the UK on Friday, indicating that the economy may well be on its path to recovery, also contributed to the optimistic mood.

However, geopolitical concerns still persisted, in the form of attacks by the US and UK on Houthi rebels in the Red Sea towards the end of the week. This led to Brent crude oil prices rising 1.82% over the week, to $80.1 (€73.1) per barrel on Friday, with crude oil increasing 1.03% to $74.5 per barrel on Friday afternoon.

Gold prices inched up 0.30% this week, to $2,049 (€1,871.6) per troy ounce.

CAC 40 top weekly gainers

Telemarketing and debt collection company Teleperformance rose 6.46% this week, following Verego’s giving the organisation a company-wide corporate social responsibility certificate for the 10th year in a row.

Aircraft equipment manufacturing company Safran inched up 6.07% after a recent tie-up between aerospace company LeoStella and a Safran Electronics and Defense company, Syrlinks.

Airbus has jumped 5.57% over the past week, as the company revealed it had hit sales and order records in 2023 and was ahead of Boeing in deliveries.

Rolling stock manufacturer Alstom increased 5.13% after it was named as a possible supplier for high-speed trains in California.

Dassault Systemes climbed 4.86% over the week, following the company’s recent release of the half-year statement of the liquidity contract it signed with French-German financial services group, Oddo BHF.

CAC 40 top weekly losers

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal dropped 3.96% throughout the week, after the company’s failure to approve a proposal by the Italian government to take a controlling stake in Acciaierie d’Italia (ADI), one of Europe’s biggest steel plants.

LVMH slid 3.32% this week, following the recent appointment of Frederic Arnault as the CEO of LVMH Watches. However, the company has recently announced that it will be partnering with Tik Tok, in order to fight the promotion and sale of fake goods on the platform.

Renault dipped lower 3.13%, after speculations that the Renault Zoe model may be at risk of discontinuation due to new vehicle safety regulations.

TotalEnergies slipped 3.10%, even as the company revealed it will increase its share in the Venus oil discovery, off the coast of Namibia. The oil giant has also highlighted it will not be selling its stake in US liquefied natural gas (LNG) company NextDecade.

Kering fell 3.09% after the company announced its support for Mogu, an Italian biomaterials start-up, soon be rebranded as Sqim.

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