(Alliance News) - European stock markets confirmed the trend of futures, opening with bullish trend Thursday, as investors await key inflation reports from major economies.

Among economic data, industrial production in Japan -- the fourth-largest global economic powerhouse -- last month fell the most since the Covid-19 pandemic, government data showed Thursday, adding further "gloom" for the world's fourth-largest economy after entering recession in late 2023.

Output in factories and mines in January fell 7.5 percent from the previous month-the steepest monthly drop since May 2020, when Covid halted global economies.

On the monetary policy front, the U.S. PCE price index-the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation indicator for January-will be closely scrutinized by trading rooms looking for clues on the path of U.S. interest rates with release expected later today.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, rises 0.4 percent to 32,738.84.

Paris' CAC 40 advances 0.3 percent on par with Frankfurt's DAX 40, while London's FTSE 100 advances 0.2 percent.

The Mid-Cap advances 0.2% to 45,796.76, the Small-Cap is just below par 28,026.34, and Italy Growth is giving up 0.4% to 8,207.11.

On the Mib, boost on Saipem, which is advancing 7.0 percent with new price at EUR1.61 per share. The company on Wednesday signaled it returned to profit in 2023, closing the year to Dec. 31 at EUR179 million from a loss of EUR209 million in 2022. The board let it know that it has approved a dividend policy to return to the dividend in 2025, based on expected results in 2024.

Strength also on Moncler, which moves ahead 5.7 percent. On the luxury stock, UBS, RBC, JP Morgan and Jefferies raised their target prices on Thursday.

The board of Poste Italiane -- up 3.9 percent -- on Thursday released its preliminary consolidated results for fiscal year 2023,closed with a net profit of EUR1.93 billion compared to EUR1.58 billion a year earlier. The board also raised the prospect of distributing a dividend of EUR0.80 per share, bringing the total amount of dividends to EUR1.00 for 2023, a 23 percent growth delta from EUR0.65 paid a year earlier.

Prysmian -- down 0.2% to EUR44.81 -- reported Thursday that it ended 2023 with net income up 5.0% year-on-year to EUR529 million from EUR504 million in 2022.

Telecom Italia tailed off the list, giving up 2.0%. The stock-which has been missing the ex-dividend since 2021-will release its accounts on Wednesday.

On the MidCap, Cembre is stepping up 1.8 percent, rearing its head after four closed candles in a bearish trend.

Also jostling, among others, on Technogym, which moves ahead 1.8%, with the weekly loss, however, 9.2%, the result of three bearish sessions.

Seco, on the other hand, gives up 3.0 percent, with price at EUR3.57 per share, after a 1.6 percent loss in the previous session.

The board of directors of Lottomatica Group -- down 1.8 percent -- on Thursday reviewed the draft consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2023, which closed with an adjusted net profit of EUR215.9 million, up 29 percent from the 2022 pro forma. In contrast, the reported figure was EUR68 million from EUR72 million in 2022.

The board resolved to propose to the shareholders' meeting the payment of a dividend of EUR0.26 per ordinary share. Taking into account the shares issued as of the current date, this is equivalent to a distribution of EUR65.4 million, representing a 30 percent pay-out of adjusted net income.

On the Smallcap, Beewize acts as a locomotive by advancing 4.6 percent and bringing the price to EUR0.8680, after two sessions closed in the red.

Sogefi, on the other hand, brings the price up 3.0% on its sixth bullish daily candle. The stock, reaching EUR3.05, updates its 52-week high.

Digital Bros--up 0.8 percent--reported Wednesday that subsidiary 505 Games Spa has signed an agreement with Remedy Entertainment PLC to sell publishing, distribution and marketing rights related to the Control saga video games.

The payout amounts to a minimum of EUR15.7 million with a potential minimum margin, an amount corresponding to the investments made by 505 Games.

Biesse--in the red by 0.6 percent--reported Wednesday that the board approved the 2024-2026 business plan, forecasting average annual revenue growth of between 2 percent and 4 percent over the plan period. Ebitda margin is expected between 8% and 10% while Ebit margin is expected between 4% and 5%. Capex in plan arc will be EUR150 million.

Among SMEs, Giglio.com moves ahead 6.3 percent with price at EUR2.02 per share.

Deodato.Gallery, on the other hand, advances 4.5%, after 3.7% in the previous session.

Relatech - down 6.0% - reported Thursday that it ended 2023 with revenues of EUR91 million compared to EUR61 million - or EUR92 million pro forma - in 2022.

Rear-ends also for Powersoft, which brings the price down 5.8% to EUR14.80. It should be noted that the stock has increased its market cap by nearly 48 percent since the beginning of 2024.

In New York - on the European night - the Dow Jones gave up 0.1 percent, the S&P 0.2 percent, while the Nasdaq left 0.6 percent on the parterre.

Among the Asian exchanges, the Nikkei gave up 0.1 percent, the Hang Seng left 0.2 percent on the parterre, while the Shanghai Composite posted a green of 1.9 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0846 against USD1.0837 recorded at Wednesday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2668 from USD1.2664 last night.

Brent crude is worth USD81.79 per barrel versus USD83.38 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,036.39 an ounce from USD2,032.76 an ounce Wednesday night.

Thursday's calendar includes from Germany, at 0955 CET, the unemployment figure and, five minutes in, the inflation figure.

From Italy, focus on industrial sales at 1000 CET and the non-EU trade balance.

In the afternoon, from the U.S. will come the personal spending price index and the consumer spending price index at 1430 CET, along with Canada's GDP.

In Piazza Affari, the results of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Leonardo, among others, are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to redazione@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News IS Italian Service Ltd. All rights reserved.