(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari is expected to fall slightly ahead of Wednesday's start of trading, in what promises to be a subdued day from a macroeconomic standpoint.

Eyes will be on Monte dei Paschi, in which the Treasury sold 12.5 percent through an accelerated bookbuilding operation, and Civitanavi Systems, in which Honeywell International has launched a takeover bid after reaching an agreement to take over the 66 percent in the hands of the controlling shareholder.

On the currency front, the yen hit 34-year lows against the dollar on Wednesday, just over a week after the Bank of Japan announced a long-awaited interest rate hike in a departure from years of ultra-loose monetary policy.

The yen weakened to JPY151.97 per dollar, the lowest level since 1990, raising speculation about authorities intervening in markets to support the currency.

The FTSE Mib is expected to fall 30.0 points or 0.1 percent after closing Tuesday's trading up 0.1 percent at 34,688.17.

London's FTSE 100 is expected to be in parity as are Paris' CAC 40 and Frankfurt's DAX 40.

Last night in Piazza Affari, the Mid-Cap gained 0.3 percent to 48,015.86, the Small-Cap was up 0.7 percent to 28,290.47, and Italy Growth was down 0.6 percent to 8,079.74.

On the Mib, Saipem closed up 4.7 percent on the heels of a sharp rise in the previous session. In the oil sector, Eni, tied at the end of the session, and Tenaris, up just 0.1 percent, did not benefit from the same momentum.

Confirming the good form seen from the start was the banking sector, with BPER Banca gaining 2.7 percent to EUR4.44 per share, updating its 52-week high.

Boost also on Banca Monte dei Paschi, up 1.1% to EUR4.2560 per share. The stock is up more than 39% since the start of 2024.

Campari rose 1.2% after announcing Tuesday that EUR550 million 2.375% senior unsecured convertible bonds maturing in 2029 were admitted to trading on Euronext Access Milan. Trading is scheduled to start on March 27.

On the Mid-Cap, after the accounts and tower merger rumors, Rai Way closed up 5.5 percent. The board reviewed the draft individual financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2023, which closed with a net profit of EUR86.7 million, up nearly 18 percent from fiscal year 2022, when it was EUR73.7 million. The board proposed the distribution of a dividend of EUR0.32 per share, up from EUR0.27 in the previous year.

Good buys also on Technogym after the accounts presented on the eve of the meeting. The company reported Monday that it ended 2023 with adjusted net income of EUR78.4 million, up 18 percent from EUR66.1 as of Dec. 31, 2022. The company announced that it has proposed to pay a dividend of EUR0.26 per share, up from EUR0.25 per share in 2022. The stock gained 1.6 percent.

At the tail end, GVS lost 4.1 percent, with just under 300,000 changed hands.

On the Small-Cap, Class Editori was up 8.6 percent while algoWatt did best of all, accomplishing a 23 percent rise.

The board of Mondo TV -- up nearly 11 percent -- on Monday evening approved the Mondo TV group's draft annual financial statements and consolidated annual financial report as of December 31, 2023, closing with a net profit of EUR800,000 compared to a loss of EUR69.3 million in the previous year.

Among SMEs, Caribbean Company rose 7.7 percent to EUR0.70, rebounding after two sessions of declines.

Grifal gained 9.3 percent, benefiting from good accounts. The company reported Monday that it ended 2023 with a net profit of EUR887,217 compared to the 2022 figure of EUR432,047.

Allcore -- down 5.5 percent -- announced Monday that it had approved results for 2023, a fiscal year that ended with a profit of EUR1.5 million, down from EUR2.6 million a year earlier. The board also proposed a dividend of EUR0.06 per share, for a total of EUR1.0 million, down from EUR0.1 per share in the previous year.

CrowdFundMe -- unchanged at EUR2.06 -- reported Monday that it closed 2023 with a loss of EUR941,384, which compares with a loss of EUR399,297 in the previous year. That result was affected by EUR680,000 in depreciation and amortization and an increase in spending on technological innovations, the company explained in a note.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed Wednesday up 0.9 percent to 40,762.73, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.3 percent to 2,993.14 and the Hang Seng was in the red 1.2 percent to 16,415.28.

In New York at Tuesday's close, the Dow gave up 0.1 percent to 39,282.33, the Nasdaq lost 0.4 percent to 16,315.70 and the S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent to 5,203.58.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0831 against USD1.0830 recorded in Tuesday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2623 from USD1.2630 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD85.45 per barrel versus USD86.27 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,178.79 an ounce from USD2,179.14 an ounce last night.

Wednesday's macroeconomic calendar opens with Chinese industrial profits, due at 0230 CET, while in Europe eyes will be on French consumer confidence, due at 0845 CET, and Spanish inflation and retail sales, due out at 0900 CET.

The Eurozone consumer confidence report will be released at 1100 CET while the UK mortgage report will be released at 1200 CET.

In the afternoon, focus on crude oil stocks in the US, at 1530 CET.

Among the companies in Piazza Affari, the accounts of Cyberoo, Caleffi, Gruppo 24 Ore, RCS MediaGroup, and SOL, among others, are scheduled.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

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