(Alliance News) - Major European indexes open the session lower on Wednesday, following the release of some macro in the UK-including April annual inflation falling to 2.3 percent to the lowest since July 2021 but falling less than market expectations, which predicted it at 2.1 percent-with attention turned to ECB President Christine Lagarde's 1000 CEST speech and toward the Fed minutes to be released tonight at 2000 CEST.

"This is the first time that UK inflation has started with a 2 since the summer of 2021," comments Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst at Swissquote Bank. "But the number was higher than the 2.1 percent expected by analysts. Core inflation, on the other hand, fell to 3.9 percent from the 4.2 percent printed a month earlier - significantly higher than the 3.6 percent expected by analysts. Overall, the data were a disappointment. The latest easing in prices has extinguished hopes of a rate cut by the Bank of England as early as June."

Thus, the FTSE Mib opens 0.4 percent in the red at 34,459.84, the Mid-Cap gains 0.1 percent to 47,799.64, the Small-Cap is fractionally in the red at 29,016.35 while Italy Growth advances 0.1 percent to 8,252.15.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 gives up 0.2 percent, London's FTSE 100 is in the red by 0.6 percent while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is in the red by 0.2 percent.

On the Mib, Stellantis gives up 1.6 percent and ends up at the bottom after ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, released EU car sales in April. The group reported 1.7 percent year-on-year growth while total registrations in the EU market were up nearly 14 percent from April 2023.

Also at the bottom were Terna and Eni, in the red by 1.3% and 1.3% respectively while at the other end of the list, Telecom Italia topped the list with a 1.1% rise, followed by Leonardo with 0.5% and Assicurazioni Generali with 0.3%.

Generali reported Tuesday that it closed the first quarter with a net profit of EUR1.26 billion, up from EUR1.20 billion as of March 31, 2023. Group gross premiums rose 21 percent to EUR26.4 billion from EUR22.16 billion, thanks to strong performance in both life and non-life segments.

Saipem is also among the very few bullish performers. The stock is up 0.2 percent after reporting Tuesday that it has been awarded three new contracts by TotalEnergies EP Angola Block 20, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, for the Kaminho project related to the development of the Cameia and Golfinho oil fields, located about 100 kilometers off the coast of Angola. The total amount of the contracts is EUR3.7 billion.

Banco BPM - in the red by 0.3 percent - on Tuesday said it had completed the placement of a new EUR500 million, 7-year Covered Bond issue aimed at institutional investors under its EUR10 billion Guaranteed Bank Bond program - BPM Covered Bond 2.

STMicrolectronics, on the other hand, gives up 0.1 percent. Of note, Barclays, UBS and Goldman Sachs cut their target prices on the stock.

In the cadet segment, Webuild - flat at EUR2.31 - on Tuesday reported that the new La Chapelle ashlar factory in France, serving Lot 2 of the base tunnel of the AC/AV Turin-Lyon railway line, will be operational in June

Fincantieri -- in the green by 0.7 percent -- announced Monday that it had signed an agreement with Edge, one of the world's leading advanced technology and defense groups, formalizing the launch of Maestral, the joint venture created between the two companies in the Abu Dhabi-based shipbuilding business. The signing of the agreement was followed by the announcement of a major order for 10 technologically advanced 51-meter OPV offshore patrol vessels by the UAE Coast Guard Forces, worth EUR400 million.

Acea Ambiente, a subsidiary of Acea -- in the green by 0.3 percent -- submitted a bid by the deadline regarding the call for tenders published by Roma Capitale for the award of the concession of the plant hub relating to the design, authorization for operation, construction and management of a waste-to-energy plant and related ancillary plant engineering.

On the Small-Cap, EEMS Italia advances 0.3 percent after closing up 19 percent, with the stock halted several times on volatility auction. The company announced Monday that the board of directors has taken note of the resignation of Giuseppe De Giovanni from his position as director and chief executive officer of the company and from all positions held within EEMS group companies effective today for personal reasons. Stefano Modena was therefore appointed as the company's new chief executive officer.

CY4Gate, on the other hand, advanced 0.3 percent, rearing its head again after four sessions among the bearish. The company announced Tuesday that it has been awarded three international research calls under the European Defense Fund and Digital Europe Program worth a total of about EUR1.7 million over three years from 2025, boosting the group's backlog.

Banca Sistema advances 1.7 percent. On Monday it announced that it had approved its three-year strategic plan through 2026. Among the targets, expected net interest and other banking income CAGR 23-26 up 12.9 percent. As for cost/income ratios, the estimate is for 61 percent in 2023 to rise to 57 percent in 2026.

Among SMEs, SolidWorld Group is advancing 7.7 percent after announcing Wednesday that it has filed a patent through its subsidiary Bio3DPrinting for the first 'boosted customization' of a human tissue, starting with the patient's original cells by creating ad hoc heads for replicating individual tissue types.

Electrospider, through these new patented heads, is able to print, from a patient's cells cultured in vitro, a complex three-dimensional four-cell tissue that will be used directly in the operating room for the first time in the world.

Circle - flat at EUR7.26 - announced Wednesday that it has signed a contract worth a total of more than EUR100,000 and lasting about six months.

The contract involves support for a major international group on interoperability in multimodal supply chain and procedural dematerialization.

Eprcommunication is not yet affected by trading after having closed up more than 14 percent. On Monday it reported that Justbit, the group's digital factory, has received news of a new assignment. Specifically, Justbit has been contracted by a public company to manage advertising services and carry out communication support activities for the duration of nine months and in the amount of EUR125,000.00 plus VAT in 2024 and EUR17,000 plus VAT in the first part of 2025.

ICF Group still does not trade, after announcing on Monday the launch of a new buyback plan for a maximum of 1 million shares and a total value of EUR8 million.

iVision rises 1.4 percent, after closing in the green by 7.7 percent. The company reported that its board of directors approved the issuance of two bonds with a total countervalue of EUR7.0 million.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed in the red by 0.8 percent, the Hang Seng was in the red by 0.2 percent, and the Shanghai Composite closed in fractional green.

In New York on Friday, the Dow closed up 0.2 percent to 19,277.54, the Nasdaq rose 0.2 percent to 16,832.63, and the S&P gained 0.3 percent to 5,321.41.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0853 from USD1.0855 in Tuesday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2744 from USD1.2711 Tuesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD82.02 per barrel from USD82.44 per barrel Tuesday night. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,416.58 an ounce from USD2,421.50 an ounce Tuesday night.

On today's economic calendar, a speech by ECB number one Christine Lagarde is scheduled at 1000 CEST.

From the U.S., at 1300 CEST will come the mortgage market report, and at 1600 CEST the report on existing home sales, followed half an hour later by crude oil stocks, the EIA report and the Cushing inventory.

Finally, at 2000 CEST, the minutes of the FOMC meeting will be released.

On the corporate calendar, coming up are the results of Bertolotti, DHH and MFE-MediaForEurope.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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