The CAC 40 opened Tuesday slightly up on Monday’s close, which had seen the French benchmark index sustain a loss to start the week. Early gains in the first minutes of trading were then wiped out as the index fell to losses over the first hour of trading as financials took a hit before a recovery in the lead up to midday saw breakeven. The CAC has been bouncing along roughly flat over the course of the afternoon and looks set to finish the day either very marginally up or down on yesterday’s closing level.
The morning recovery was helped on its way by an economic data release which showed industrial production grew fast than expected in November with 2.2% expansion. October had seen a fall of 0.1% on September. The higher oil price and transport equipment output were the main catalysts to the positive growth statistic.
Steelmaker ArcelorMittal is today’s strongest riser with a gain of 4.49% heading towards the session’s close. The company announced today that it had signed long-term renewal contracts for the delivery of industrial gases to its production units in Dunkirk and Ghent with CAC 40-fellow Air Liquide. Air Liquide is down 0.57% today. ArcelorMittal’s share price is benefiting from forecasts for increased Chinese demand for steel with big new infrastructure plans recently announced, with railways a particular focus.
Carmaker Renault is up 3.11% while peer Peugeot has registered a gain of 1.18%. Other strong gainers today include Schneider Electric with a return of 1.85% with pharma company Sanofi continuing its recovery from last week’s slump with a rise of 1.37% so far. Hotels group Accor is up 0.72% and Airbus 0.49%.
Among the banks, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are down 0.49% and 0.33% respectively, while Societe Generale is up 0.38%, bucking the trend of banking stocks suffering today on fears of exposure to Italy’s imperilled banking system. Mobile telecoms operator Orange is down 1.89% and advertising and PR company Publicis Group 1.46%. The day’s biggest losses have been seen by water and waste utility Veolia Environnement, down 2.61%.