CAC 40 Little Changed In Lackluster Trade

French stocks were modestly higher on Wednesday after data showed China’s economic growth remained steady in the first quarter despite tepid global demand.

China’s GDP grew an annual 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019 – unchanged from Q4 and beating forecasts for 6.3 percent.

The benchmark CAC 40 was up 10 points or 0.17 percent at 5,538 in opening deals after rising around 0.4 percent the previous day.

The upside was capped by disappointing quarterly updates from U.S. tech giants IBM and Netflix.

While IBM reported a bigger-than-expected drop in first-quarter revenue, Netflix gave disappointing guidance for the second quarter.

Air Liquide edged up 0.3 percent after it acquired a startup in Spain to offer personalized services for diabetic patients.

Cosmetics and beauty products giant L’Oreal Co. shed 0.6 percent despite the company reporting first-quarter sales that topped forecasts.

Pernod Ricard eased 03 percent after signing a deal to acquire Italian gin brand Malfy from Biggar & Leith.

Food group Danone lost over 1 percent after its underlying sales rose by a relatively modest 0.8 percent in the first quarter.

In economic releases, Eurozone headline inflation slowed in March and core price growth eased to its lowest level in a year, as initially estimated, latest data from Eurostat confirmed.

Headline inflation slowed to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent in February. In January, price growth was 1.4 percent.

Separately, Eurozone trade surplus increased in February to its highest level in nearly a year, figures from Eurostat showed.

The seasonally adjusted trade surplus rose to EUR 19.5 billion from EUR 17.4 billion in January. The surplus was the biggest since March 2018, when it was EUR 20.4 billion.