European markets, which have recovered nearly 3% in two sessions, fell slightly: Paris gave up 0.22%, London 0.20%, Frankfurt 0.08% and Milan 0.07% around 08:15 GMT. The banking sector of the broader European Eurostoxx 600 index was stable.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange rebounded on Wednesday to catch up with the renewed confidence in other global markets after being closed on Tuesday: it took 1.93%. Shanghai gained 0.31% and Hong Kong 1.69%.

On Wall Street, the three main indexes ended sharply higher on Tuesday, a move that included regional banks that have been on the stock market for ten days.

Investors are mainly waiting for the conclusion of the two-day meeting of the monetary policy committee of the US central bank (Fed).

Jerome Powell during a Senate hearing on March 7, 2023 © Mandel NGAN / AFP

The Fed must engage in "a balancing act" according to John Plassard, investment specialist at Mirabaud.

"The negative impact of higher interest rates on the banking sector is becoming increasingly evident. Meanwhile the latest data have reaffirmed that labour market conditions remain tight and that inflation is still as high as ever," he explains.

The majority of analysts believe that the institution should still raise its key rates by 0.25 percentage points, to bring them just below 5%, as at the last meeting. Earlier in the month, they thought the increase was going to be double.

In a sign that the fight against rising prices in the Western world is far from over, inflation has risen to 10.4% year-on-year in the United Kingdom, from 10.1% in January while economists thought the pace would slow slightly.

"Rising alcohol prices in pubs and restaurants" largely contributed to this surprise rebound as did "food and soft drinks, which climbed at the fastest pace in more than 45 years," said Grant Fitzner, economist at the British Office for National Statistics, on the eve of a decision by the Bank of England on its interest rates.

On the bond market, yields on government bonds were still recovering: the German 10-year bond, the reference maturity, stood at 2.32%, the highest in a week.

Real estate down

Values around the real estate sector fell across Europe on Wednesday: shopping center giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield lost 2.77%, Klépierre 1.86%, Vonovia 2.23%, British Land Company 4.96%.

On the oil and currency side

Oil was blowing after rebounding from its lows since December 2021 in the last two sessions. The barrel of North Sea Brent for May delivery fell 0.56% to $ 74.90, while the barrel of US WTI at the same maturity, which is the first day of use as a reference contract, gave up 0.65% to $ 69.22 around 08:15 GMT.

The euro advanced 0.07% against the dollar to $ 1.0775, while the pound strengthened 0.45% to $ 1.2272.

Bitcoin was stable at $28.2010.

© 2023 AFP