(Paris) World stock markets remain sluggish on Friday, the last session of 2023, a year when many financial centers broke records, or progressed strongly, particularly over the last two months.

Wall Street fell after a disappointing industrial activity indicator: around 11:45 a.m. (Eastern time), the Dow Jones lost 0.27%, the NASDAQ 0.84%, the S

In Europe, the stock indices increased slightly on Friday to further enhance their balance sheet for 2023. Over the year, Paris gained nearly 16.52%, Frankfurt, whose index is calculated in reinvested dividends unlike Paris, 20 .31% and Milan 28.03%. The pan-European indices Eurostoxx 50 (19.19%) and Eurostoxx 600 (12.74%) both recorded their third best performance over the last ten years.

In London, the FTSE 100 remained behind, only increasing by 3.78%.

In Asia, the flagship Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange did not shine on Friday (-0.22%), but it achieved a jump of 28.2% in 2023, the best annual performance in ten years.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng experienced a fourth year of decline (-13.82%), with China remaining shunned by investors.

Boosted at the start of the year by the possibilities of reopening China and then the new perspectives offered by artificial intelligence, the world stock markets progressed until the end of spring, despite the fear born from the bankruptcies of American regional banks in March .

The summer proved more difficult, faced with central banks which did not relax the pressure either in actions or in words to combat inflation, in particular by increasing key rates, their main tool.

But more supportive comments from central bankers have allowed markets to project key rate cuts in the first months of 2024, allowing stocks to rise and interest rates to fall.

In the United States, the NASDAQ, with the “Magnificent Seven” – tech mega-caps like Microsoft, Apple and Nvidia – soaring by more than 40%. The year 2023 should end as the best since 2003 for this technology-dominated index.

The annual gains are particularly impressive for Nvidia (234%), Meta (parent company of Facebook, 192%), and Tesla (101%).

The best performances in Europe are the work of industrial companies: in London, Rolls-Royce, in full recovery, saw its price multiply by more than three over the year. In France, it is Stellantis (59.34%) which has progressed the most on the flagship index while in Germany, Rheinmetall (54.26%) finishes at the top of the list.

Oil prices rose slightly on Friday, but failed to increase their gains with the easing of fears of supply disruptions via the Red Sea, and European natural gas is preparing to end 2023 in sharp decline. .

The price of a barrel of Brent from the North Sea, for delivery in March, on its first day of use as a reference contract, rose 0.52%, to 77.55 dollars.

Its American equivalent, a barrel of WTI, for delivery in February, gained 0.49%, to $72.12.

Both global oil benchmarks are on track to end the year down around 10%.

European gas lost 58% of its value and was around 32 euros per megawatt hour on Friday.

The euro fell 0.05% to $1.1056. Over the year, the dollar index, which compares the greenback to a basket of currencies, lost more than 2%.

Bitcoin fell 0.41% to $42,295. Over the year, the price of the flagship cryptocurrency increased 2.5 times. But by 2022, it had fallen by almost two thirds.