The star CAC 40 index fell sharply on Thursday, from 1.86% to 6,951.87 points, after having increased considerably (more than 7%) since the start of the year.

This "shutdown can be triggered by less good macroeconomic indicators and speeches by central bankers who are persevering on the path of monetary tightening", but "it does not return to question everything", comments Andrea Tuéni, analyst at Saxo Bank.

Several American economic indicators have come in recent days to show a slowdown in the world's largest economy.

Published on Wednesday, the figures for industrial production and retail sales contracted more than expected.

On Thursday, another index, in the real estate sector, added to the gloom.

Housing construction fell 1.4% in December over one month after already falling 1.8% the month before, a figure revised down sharply.

Thus, investors have a "good excuse to slow down and take profits before assessing the situation", next week being busy in terms of corporate results before giving way to meetings of European central banks. and American at the beginning of February.

The market has been anticipating a looser monetary policy from central banks since the start of the year, but without any guarantees.

Central bankers have repeated for two days their determination to remain vigilant against inflation, whether James Bullard for the US Federal Reserve or Klaas Knot, one of the governors of the European Central Bank (ECB).

At the Davos Economic Forum, ECB President Christine Lagarde said activity in the eurozone would be "much better" this year than initially feared.

She also repeated that the monetary institution was planning to raise its key rates further sharply during the next meetings, with +0.50 percentage point expected, in order to fight against inflation "still much too high".

The defensive values ​​sought

Defensive stocks stood out like Pernod Ricard (+0.65% to 192.30 euros) and Danone (+0.46% to 50.21 euros).

Conversely, cyclical stocks, the most sensitive to economic activity, which have risen sharply since the start of the year, have fallen: Renault by 2.23%, Saint-Gobain by 2.61%, Schneider Electric by 3.61%.

Banks were also affected by doubts about the robustness of the economy, with a decline of 2.10% for Societe Generale and 1.24% for BNP Paribas.

Thales leads the CAC 40

Thales (+1.59% to 118 euros) said on Wednesday that it would modernize with Sabena Technics the fleet of CN-235 bi-turboprop tactical and logistics transport aircraft of the Air Force and the Space.

© 2023 AFP