The flagship CAC 40 index stagnated at 7,228.09 points around 09:55, after opening slightly higher. On Thursday, it slipped 0.33%, falling to its lowest closing level since late March after losing, at this point, 3.56% since the beginning of the week.

In the United States, despite days and nights of discussions, the teams of Democratic leader Joe Biden and the negotiators of the Republican camp have not yet found a budgetary compromise to raise the US debt ceiling and avoid a default of the world's largest economy, possibly as early as next week.

"The fears are still there and have even been exacerbated by Fitch's decision to put US debt on negative watch, i.e. with the risk of downgrading US sovereign debt," said Sebastian Paris Horvitz, research director at La Banque Postale AM.

Most observers, however, are confident that an agreement will be reached. John Plassard, investment specialist at Mirabaud, says: "Let us be clear: the United States will not go bankrupt!"

US President Joe Biden was also optimistic on Thursday, assuring that there would be "no default".

On Friday, investors' attention will turn to the publication of the PCE index, the inflation indicator preferred by the US central bank.

Household morale in France remained broadly stable in May, the French being a little more confident about their future financial situation and the evolution of the standard of living in the country, said Friday INSEE.

Casino's debt on the table

At the resumption of its listing after three days of suspension, the share of the distributor Casino fell by 4.88% to 6.44 euros, consequence of the announcement of the opening of a conciliation procedure to renegotiate its significant debt. At the beginning of the session, Casino had lost more than 10%.

The share of its parent company Rallye also lost 3.30% to 0.97 euros, after having unscrewed up to 15% earlier.

Since the beginning of the year, Casino shares have lost more than a third of their value and Rallye about 65%.

Rififi at TotalEnergies

The French hydrocarbon giant TotalEnergies (-0.31% to 54.88 euros) is preparing to live an electric general assembly Friday morning, scuffles between climate protesters and the police having already taken place before its opening.

Environmental activists and the government are putting pressure on the group to move more quickly away from fossil fuels.

© 2023 AFP