CAC 40 Struggles For Direction

French stocks held steady on Friday after data showed the French economy recovered at a faster-than-expected pace in the first quarter underpinned by consumption and investment.

Gross domestic product grew 0.4 percent sequentially, reversing a revised 1.4 percent fall in the fourth quarter of 2020 and exceeding the economists' forecast of +0.1 percent, first estimate from the statistical office Insee showed.

Nonetheless, the statistical office said the economic rebound was limited, as GDP was still 4.4 percent below its fourth quarter 2019 level.

The benchmark CAC 40 was up 3 points at 6,305 after ending 0.1 percent lower the previous day.

Aerospace company Safran gained nearly 2 percent after maintaining full-year forecasts.

Lender BNP Paribas dropped 1.7 percent despite reporting better-than-expected profit, helped by lower provisions for pandemic-related bad loans and a rebound in equity trading.

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