(Alliance News) - European stock markets Wednesday-according to the futures market-are set for an upward opening as trading rooms continue to assess the outlook for monetary policy globally.

The Federal Reserve has repeatedly dismissed speculation about early interest rate cuts, with Chairman Jerome Powell warning that the Eccles Building is likely to move much more slowly than the market anticipates.


Thus, the FTSE Mib, after closing up 0.5 percent at 31,116.75 points last night, marks a 45.00 point advance.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 closed up 0.9 percent, Paris' CAC 40 rose 0.7 percent while Frankfurt's DAX 40 advanced 0.8 percent.

Last night the Mid-Cap rose 0.7 percent to 45,408.53, the Small-Cap finished in the green 0.4 percent to 27,585.59, and Italy Growth gave up 0.8 percent to 8,208.97.

On the main list of Piazza Affari last night, Pirelli, Amplifon and Leonardo topped the podium with rises of 4.2%, 4.0% and 3.7%, respectively.

Leonardo announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Military Industry. "The MoU covers broad areas in which Leonardo has well-established technological expertise, including space, helicopters, sensors and electronics, air combat, multi-domain integration, remotely piloted systems, digital technologies, services and industrialization processes," according to the press note.

Intesa Sanpaolo closed up 1.3 percent after reporting Tuesday that it posted a 76 percent increase in net income in 2023, "its best year ever, in which it saw impaired loans fall 9.7 percent.

The bank's net income rose to EUR7.72 billion or 76 percent from EUR4.38 billion a year earlier, with the fourth-quarter figure alone amounting to EUR1.60 billion.

The total proposed dividend per share for 2023 is 29.60 cents -- including 14.40 cents as interim dividend paid in November 2023 and 15.20 cents as proposed balance --, almost double the 16.39 cents paid for 2022.

UniCredit -- down 0.2 percent -- after its record accounts for 2023, announced Tuesday that it had purchased 4.2 million of its own shares between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2. The shares were taken over at an average price of EUR26.6711 for a total value of EUR113.2 million.

Badly FinecoBank, which closed 1.9 percent in the red after reporting Tuesday that it reported a 42 percent year-over-year increase in net income and revenues up 31 percent from 2022.

Net income improved to EUR609.1 million from EUR428.8 million in 2022 while revenues rose to EUR1.24 billion from EUR948.1 million.

Terna-which closed in the red by 0.7 percent-reported that the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security authorized by decree on January 31, 2024 the construction of the Adriatic Link, the submarine power line that will unite the Marche and Abruzzo regions.

"The infrastructure, for which we will invest around EUR1.3 billion, will increase the safety and resilience of the national transmission electricity grid and contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, confirming Italy's role as a European and Mediterranean energy hub," said Giuseppina Di Foggia, Terna's CEO and general manager.

At the bottom ends Interpump, which gives up 6.9 percent.

On the Mid-Cap, Anima Holding gained 2.4 percent after announcing Tuesday the approval of consolidated figures as of Dec. 31, in which the company reported a consolidated net profit of EUR149.3 million, up 24 percent from EUR120.8 million in the same period last year.

The board of directors proposed the distribution of a dividend of EUR0.25 per share from EUR0.22 last year.

At the top was Ferretti, which closed up 7.5 percent followed by Lottomatica Group and Juventus, up 4.7 percent and 3.0 percent respectively.

Closing out the list were MFE's B shares, in the red by 4.7 percent, and Alerion, which gave up 3.7 percent at the end of the day.

On the Small-Cap, Risanamento -- in the green by 6.4 percent -- reported Monday that it closed 2023 with a net profit of EUR10.6 million, which compares with a loss of EUR53.9 million in the previous year. Turnover rose to EUR595.6 million from EUR370 million while production value rose to EUR57.1 million from EUR2.5 million.

CIA, up 13 percent, Beewize, up 10 percent, and Italian ExhibitionGroup, in the green by 6.4 percent, finished on top.

Among SMEs, Elsa Solutions closed up 7.1 percent with price at EUR4.82 per share. The board of directors on Tuesday announced that it had approved pre-consolidated management revenues as of Dec. 31, with production value for the year 2023 amounting to about EUR19.2 million.

The increase was about 26 percent compared to the same period last year, and "confirms the company's growth trend that began in 2019," the company wrote in the note released

Doing better is only Reway Group, up 8.3 percent. The company announced Friday that the shareholders' meeting of SeGi, a 70 percent subsidiary, following the acquisition completed on Nov. 21, 2023, resolved to change the company's name to Gema Spa.

eVISO -- up 1.0 percent -- reported data provided by the Integrated Information System ? a public entity that manages information flows related to the electricity and gas markets ? on the annual consumption volumes of the electricity user base in the direct channel combined with eVISO in February.

Thus, annual consumption volumes related to direct customers paired with eVISO as of February amounted to 382 GWh and equivalent to an annual turnover of more than EUR90 million, up 19 percent from the figures reported in December 2023, when they stood at 320 GWh.

Racing Force - down more than 15 percent - does worse than all after announcing Tuesday that it closed FY2023 with consolidated revenues of EUR62.6 million, up 6.4 percent from EUR58.9 million in FY2022. In the fourth quarter, consolidated revenues stood at EUR12.8 million, down slightly from EUR13.4 million in the same period last year.

Circle closed 0.8 percent in the red after announcing Monday that it had been awarded the Taurus project with Attilio Carmagnani AC Spa and Iroi Srl, receiving a EUR80,000 grant as lead partner.

The three companies will build an advanced platform for managing truck appointments to loading and unloading at the Carmagnani coastal depot.

In New York on Tuesday, the Dow Jones rose 0.4 percent, the S&P rallied 0.2 percent, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.1 percent.

Among Asian exchanges, the Nikkei gave up 0.1 percent, the Shanghai Composite is picking up 1.4 percent, while the Hang Seng is stepping back 0.2 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0769 against USD1.0752 recorded in Tuesday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2621 from USD1.2591 on Tuesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD78.80 per barrel versus USD78.72 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,035.41 an ounce from USD2,038.65 an ounce Tuesday night.

Wednesday's economic calendar includes Italian retail sales at 1000 CET and the UK Treasury Gilt auction will be held at 1100 CET.

In the afternoon, the usual mortgage data from the US are scheduled at 1300 CET and, at 1430 CET, the trade balance.

The same data will also come out at the same time in Canada while from the US will come, at1630 CET, US crude oil stocks.

In Piazza Affari, the results of BPER Bank and Intred are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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