(Alliance News) - On Tuesday, major European stock markets are expected to fall in the wake of the U.S. close, as China announced a very ambitious 2024 growth target of around 5.0 percent at the start of the annual Chinese National People's Congress.

Thus, the FTSE Mib is expected to fall 0.3 percent or 105.0 points, after closing down 0.1 percent at 32,912.34.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 is expected to be down 18.2 points or 0.2 percent, London's FTSE 100 is expected to open down 26.2 points or 0.3 percent while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is given down 61.0 points or 0.3 percent.

"China wants to grow by 5 percent this year, create about 12 million urban jobs and achieve 3 percent inflation. The targets are ambitious--especially the inflation target--since the base effect will not play in favor of growth this year and deflation is not an easy battle to win, especially against a backdrop of loss of confidence, aging and shrinking population, with a severe real estate crisis. Of course, the Chinese premier has stated that he will need policy support to achieve his goals. In fact, he needs a lot of support, and again, no one guarantees the return on investment and spending," comments Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst at Swissquote Bank.

In macroeconomic news, the Caixin index for China's service sector fell for the second consecutive month to 52.5 in February from 52.7 in January.

This was the 14th consecutive month of expansion in services activity, but the lowest pace since last November amid a small increase in overall new jobs.

Among Italy's minor listings on Monday, the Mid-Cap gained 0.4 percent to 45,952.93, the Small-Cap gave up 0.7 percent to 27,861.75, while Italy Growth closed in the green by 0.2 percent to 8,206.50.

On the Mib, Saipem did best of all, closing up 4.9% with new price at EUR1.91 per share, on its third bullish daily candle after excellent accounts released last week.

Boost also on Azimut, which joined the top group appreciating 1.7 percent as it awaits accounts due out on Thursday.

DiaSorin, on the other hand, gained 1.6 percent. The company announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new Liaison Plex platform and its first test panel, the Liaison Plex Respiratory Flex Assay.

Liaison Plex expands and consolidates DiaSorin's position in the syndromic multiplexing market, which has a global value of about USD2.9 billion and is estimated to grow to about USD4 billion by 2027.

Good buys also on Leonardo, in the green by 1.5 percent. The company on Thursday reported preliminary results that it ended 2023 with revenues of EUR15.30 billion, up 3.9% from EUR14.71 billion as of December 31, 2022, and in line with guidance. Order backlog amounted to EUR39.53 billion from EUR37.51 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022.

On the bottom Ferrari closed 2.9% in the red after Friday's green with 0.6%. Of note, Citigroup downgraded the stock to 'sell' from 'neutral'.

Nexi, on the other hand, left 2.8 percent on the parterre, after the previous session's 2.3 percent green, as it awaits its accounts due for release on Wednesday.

On the cadet segment, Maire Tecnimont brought home a 2.7 percent gain, in its third bullish session, on the eve of the publication of accounts.

Also among the best was De'Longhi, which closed 3.8 percent higher, echoing Friday night's 1.5 percent gain.

Digital Value - in the green by 2.8 percent - and Teradata, one of the world's leading companies in Datawarehouse solutions, announced Monday their strategic partnership for the Italian market, which includes an agreement to market Teradata's Datawarehouse and Analytics solutions, exclusively for the Finance and Public Administration sectors.

Fincantieri, on the other hand, closed down 4.2 percent, with new price in the EUR0.4730 area, after the 1.4 percent green in the previous session.

Piaggio -- down 5.9 percent -- reported Monday that it had achieved a net profit of EUR91.1 million in 2023, up 7.3 percent from EUR84.9 million in 2022. This is, the company pointed out, "the best result ever." The board will also propose a dividend balance of 8 cents per share, bringing the total dividend to 20.5 cents per share, up from 18.5 cents a year earlier.

On the Small-Cap segment, Antares closed bullish with more than 15 percent, with new price at EUR2.60 per share, rebounding after three sessions closed with bearish candle.

Itway, on the other hand, picked up 2.4 percent with new price at EUR1.62 per share, on the back of the green in the last session that closed with a plus 7.6 percent.

Geox - flat at EUR0.7240 - reported Friday that the group's 2023 revenues were EUR719.6 million, down 2.2% from EUR735.5 million in 2022, but up 0.3% at constant exchange rates. Results for the fourth quarter were lower than the previous year with revenues from sales reaching EUR138 million, down 17 percent at current exchange rates.

algoWatt gave up 4.7%, with new price at EUR0.2250. The stock during the session updated its 52-week low to EUR0.2160.

Restart closed down 4.3 percent, after the previous session's 2.6 percent green.

Among SMEs, Arterra Bioscience advanced 6.7 percent to EUR1.92 per share, after a slight decline on Friday evening.

Good buying also on Almawave, which advanced 4.0%, rearing its head after three sessions closed among the bearish.

Askoll EVA closed down 5.8 percent, taking the price to new 52-week lows at EUR0.228.

Relatech - in the red by 3.7 percent - announced Monday it had welcomed Nieco - New Ecological Initiatives - into DESK Membership, a long-term partnership that, in the name of innovation and digital evolution, makes available a suite of services guaranteed by the Relatech ecosystem.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed fractionally in the red at 40,097.63, the Shanghai Composite finished in the green by 0.3 percent at 3,047.79, and the Hang Seng trades in the red by 2.7 percent at 16,152.82.

In New York on Monday, the Dow gave up 0.3 percent to 38,989.83, the Nasdaq lost 0.4 percent to 16,207.51, and the S&P 500 finished down 0.1 percent to 5,130.95.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0848 against USD1.0859 recorded in Monday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2679 from USD1.2696 on Monday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD82.38 per barrel versus USD83.25 per barrel at Monday's close.

"U.S. crude has failed to extend gains above USD80 even after betting on Chinese stimulus," comments Ipek Ozkardeskaya of Swissquote Bank, "OPEC is unlikely to push the barrel price sustainably above that level when non-OPEC countries pump in to offset supply cuts.

Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,115.27 an ounce from USD2,116.67 an ounce on Monday evening.

On Tuesday's macroeconomic calendar, the services PMI will come in for Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Eurozone and UK between 0915 CET and 1030 CET.

At 1000 CET, from Italy, the Gross Domestic Product figure will also be released. At 1100 CET, for the Eurozone, it will be the turn of the Producer Price Index.

From the U.S., coming up is the Services PMI at 1545 CET, at 1600 CET space is given to factory orders, and at 2230 CET eyes on the weekly oil stocks figure.

Among the companies in Piazza Affari, data from Acea, Ariston Holding, Banca Generali, Brembo, Maire Tecnimont and Promotica are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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