Unlike many of the EU countries, France has a very low reliance on Russian oil and gas, as much of its energy needs come from its own nuclear power stations. This means, when we saw equities hit by renewed fears that Vladimir Putin might turn off the taps, France was able to sit more comfortably than many of its neighbours. Germany, on the other hand, currently utilises Russian energy supplies for roughly 35% of its needs, and is therefore considerably more exposed to disruptions in supplies.
An area where France has a greater exposure to the uncertainties surrounding Russia, is the large amount of financing it has lent to Russian firms. Despite this, the French banks in the CAC, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale, are all stronger on the day as investors are yet to fret over debt defaults.
Looking at the performance of the CAC, it has returned to positive territory for the year; a claim the FTSE can’t make. However, any attempt to rise above the 4400 level has been met with sellers. With so many issues surrounding Europe, it will take an impressive effort for the France 40 to break above here.