(Alliance News) - Major European indexes are headed for a bearish open, according to IG futures, while in Taiwan the strongest earthquake in 25 years brought TSM and United Microelectronics operations to a halt, also shaking Asian markets.

Also of note, the au Jibun Bank index for Japan's service sector was revised downward to a seven-month high of 54.1 in March from a ten-month high of 54.9 in preliminary estimates, while in China, the Caixin index of service purchasing managers rose to 52.7 points in March from 52.5 in February. The index shows a marginal acceleration in growth from the previous month.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, is expected to fall 0.2 percent or 61.4 after closing Tuesday 1.2 percent in the red at 34,325.23.

London's FTSE 100, on the other hand, is expected to be down 0.4 percent or 30.8 points, Paris' CAC 40 is in the red by 0.2 percent or 19.4 points, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is given down 0.2 percent or 39.5 points.

The major stock and bond markets in Europe and the U.S. also ended the day in the red last night. "Rising oil and commodity prices fueled inflation expectations, while further strengthening U.S. economic data reinforced concerns that the Federal Reserve may not cut interest rates as much as it would have liked this year," comments Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst at Swissquote Bank. "Yesterday's data showed a faster-than-expected recovery in factory orders, although job opportunities fell more than expected.

"In contrast to strong U.S. growth and rising U.S. inflation since the beginning of the year, persistent slowing European inflation and gloomy Eurozone economies warrant a rate cut by the European Central Bank and should continue to weigh on the EUR/USD. On the other side of the English Channel, data have raised hopes for a Bank of England rate cut: inflation in British stores has fallen to its lowest level in more than two years," the analyst added.

Overall, Ozkardeskaya concluded, "the U.S. is isolated with surprisingly strong economic data and rising inflation. But dollar inflation could easily spread to the rest of the world if the U.S. dollar strengthens supported by a significant drop in the Fed's accommodative expectations."

Among Italy's minor listings Tuesday evening, the Mid-Cap gave up 1.2 percent to 47,570.65, the Small-Cap lost 1.2 percent to 28,149.97, and Italy Growth closed down 0.3 percent to 8,088.78.

On the Mib, Saipem did well, up 1.9%, on the back of the rise with which it ended the last session before Easter, with the price of the barrel driven by Middle East tensions supporting sentiment on the stock. The Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria, which killed Iran's supreme commander and others, aggravated tensions in the area.

Eni closed on top of the list rising 2.6 percent to EUR15.03 per share, in its third consecutive bullish session.

Financials hurt, except for BPM and Pop Sondrio, up 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. Azimut Holding, down 4.7 percent, Banca Generali 2.1 percent, Mediolanum 1.4 percent.

Also trailing, Brunello Cucinelli, which lost 4.0% to EUR101.80. Of note, UBS cut its target price on the stock to EUR120.00 from EUR133.00.

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri did well, up 4.4 percent and with 15.4 million shares it is also the most traded stock. But, even on this list, bearishness prevailed.

Juventus FC paid for the negative momentum in Serie A by giving up 4.7 percent after closing last week's capital increase and the loss to Lazio.

Iren was also bad, down 4.4%, while Tinexta lost ground, down 4.0%.

On the Small-Cap, strength on algoWatt, up 6.0%. The company closed its sixth consecutive session higher, bringing its weekly gain over 65%.

Seri Industrial - on par - reported that it closed 2023 with a net loss of EUR6.3 million, which compares with a net loss of EUR3.4 million in 2022. Revenues rose to EUR200.1 million from EUR199.6 million while Ebitda increased to EUR22.9 million from EUR17.4 million.

At the tail end, EEMS gave up 34 percent, recording the worst performance of its basket.

Among SMEs, Illa gave up 10%, closing at the bottom of the list, while Edil San Felice performed well, up 14% to EUR3.38, benefiting from good 2023 accounts released earlier in the day. The company ended 2023 with an operating profit of EUR8.5 million, up 79% from EUR4.8 million as of December 31, 2022.

Lindbergh, up 15%, and Riba Mundo Tecnologia, up 14%, also did well, boosted by 2023 accounts.

In Asia, the Nikkei gives up 0.9 percent, the Hang Seng is in the red 1.2 percent, and the Shanghai Composite is down 0.1 percent.

In New York, the Dow closed down 1.0 percent to 39,170.24, the Nasdaq gave up 1.0 percent to 16,240.45 and the S&P 500 finished down 0.7 percent to 5,205.81.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0774 from USD1.0765 in Tuesday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2577 from USD1.2566 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD89.01 a barrel from USD89.05 last night while gold trades at USD2,284.75 from USD2,259.15 Tuesday night.

Wednesday's economic calendar features the French government budget in Europe at 0845 CET and Italian unemployment coming in at 1000 CET. An hour later, room for Eurozone inflation and unemployment rate while at 1115 CET the outcomes of the OPEC+ meeting are expected.

In the afternoon, at 1300 CET, mortgage data will arrive from the US while nonfarm employment data will be released at 1415 CET. US PMIs will be released at 1600 CET, half an hour before crude oil stocks. Also prominent among the various Federal Resserve members who will speak on Wednesday is the speech by U.S. central bank President Jerome Powell at 1810 CET.

Among the companies in the Piazza Affari, Zucchi's results are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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