(Alliance News) - Europe's major stock markets hover on the parity threshold at mid-day, lacking momentum from the few macroeconomic news, while all eyes are already on the ECB's monetary policy decision scheduled for Thursday.

Thus, the FTSE Mib is in fractional red at 32,930.74, the Mid-Cap gains 0.5 percent to 45,999.35, the Small-Cap gives up 0.3 percent to 27,954.58, while Italy Growth is up 0.3 percent to 8,215.65.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 is in the green by 0.1 percent, London's FTSE 100 gives up 0.3 percent, while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is on the parity line.

On the commodities front, OPEC and its allies have signaled that they will extend voluntary production cuts until the end of June. Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the organization, said it will extend its voluntary production cut of 1 million barrels per day until the end of the second quarter, while Russia will cut its production and export supplies by a total of 471,000 bpd.

Iraq and the United Arab Emirates will also continue to cut production by 220,000 and 163,000 bpd respectively until the end of June. Meanwhile, analysts argued that the decision was widely expected and held no surprises.

In the Middle East, uncertainty over ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas and continued Houthi attacks on Red Sea ships added a risk premium to oil prices.

On the Mib, Saipem does best of all and rises 4.5 percent.

DiaSorin gains 3.5 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.

Leonardo rises, in the green by 1.8 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 Dec. 31, 2022, and in line with guidance.

Order backlog stands at EUR39.53 billion from EUR37.51 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022.

Banca Popolare di Sondrio -- up 1.9 percent -- announced Monday the launch of a cash repurchase offer of its fixed-rate subordinated bond with a total outstanding nominal amount of EUR200.0 million maturing on July 30, 2029.

The bank also announced the issuance of a fixed-rate bond called "EUR5.00 billion Euro Medium Term Note Program," intended for institutional investors in Italy and abroad excluding the US.

It does well Enel, up 0.3 percent, after it announced on Friday that it had signed an agreement with Sosteneo Fund 1 HoldCo Sarl for the latter to acquire 49 percent of the share capital of Enel Libra Flexsys Srl, a company wholly owned by Enel Italia and set up to build and manage a portfolio of 23 battery energy storage projects with a total capacity of 1.7 GW and 3 open-cycle gas-fired plant refurbishment projects with a total capacity of 0.9 GW.

The agreement calls for a consideration from Sosteneo HoldCo, for the purchase of 49 percent of the share capital of Enel Libra Flexsys, of about EUR1.1 billion.

Still on the bottom is Ferrari, in the red by 2.1 percent. Of note, Citigroup downgraded the stock to 'sell' from 'neutral'.

On the cadet segment, Digital Value - in the green by 2.1 percent - and Teradata, one of the world's leading companies in Datawarehouse solutions, announced on 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.

Geox gives up 0.6 percent after reporting Friday that the group posted revenues of EUR719.6 million in 2023, down 2.2 percent from EUR735.5 million in 2022, but up 0.3 percent at constant exchange rates.

Results for the fourth quarter were lower than the previous year with revenues from sales reaching EUR138 million, down 17% at current exchange rates.

Among small caps, Biesse gives up 0.3 percent after announcing Friday the appointment of Nicola Sautto as Group Chief Financial Officer effective the day after the board meeting on March 14.

KME Group -- in the red by 0.4 percent -- announced Monday that its subsidiary KME SE has signed a contract regarding the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares of Blackhawk Holding GmbH, a German holding company that owns 100 percent of Sundwiger Messingwerk GmbH.

The expected price of the acquisition will be approximately EUR62 million including metal stock and will be paid for EUR41 million at closing and the remainder through a three-year interest-free vendor loan.

Among SMEs, FAE Technology rises 11 percent after announcing Monday that it has finalized an agreement with Ray Ozzie, who assumes the role of group technology advisor.

Visibilia Editore--not yet affected by the exchanges--has announced that the Court of Milan, as a result of the proceedings under Article 2409 cc brought jointly by shareholders Giuseppe Zeno, Antonietta Ferrara, Ciro Russo, Alessandro Palumbo, Gioacchino Borgia, Paolo Borgia, Stefania Di Paolo, Umberto Pinto, and Marco Taranto, against the directors and former members of the board of statutory auditors, has revoked from office the current directors, as well as the current members of the board of statutory auditors of Visibilia Editore.

The court appointed Maurizio Irrera as court-appointed administrator with the task of providing management and, in particular, equipping Visibilia Editore with adequate organizational, administrative and accounting arrangements, establishing an internal treasury service for the company; replacing the investor relator; and revoking the administrative body of the subsidiary Visibilia Editrice Srl and convening the shareholders' meeting for its replacement.

Promotica rises 1.9 percent after announcing Monday that it has initiated two new short collections, the first dedicated to Unicoop Firenze and the second dedicated to Coop Alleanza 3.0, worth a total of EUR9 million.

Relatech - flat at EUR2.17 per share - 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, provides a suite of services guaranteed by the Relatech ecosystem.

In New York on Friday, the Dow closed in the green 0.2 percent at 39,087.38, the Nasdaq rose 1.1 percent to 16,274.94, and the S&P 500 closed up 0.8 percent at 5,137.08.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0854 against USD1.0833 recorded in Friday's European stock close, while the pound was worth USD1.2676 from USD1.2651 on Friday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD83.49 per barrel versus USD83.91 per barrel at Friday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,091.75 an ounce from USD2,082.95 an ounce Friday night.

Monday's macroeconomic calendar includes, on the bond front, auctions of French BTFs with 3-, 6- and 12-month maturities at 1455 CET, while from overseas at 1730 CET it is the turn of US Treasury bond auctions with 3- and 6-month maturities.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

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