(Alliance News) - Major European stock markets head for a downward opening Tuesday morning, extending losses from the previous session, with economic uncertainties and the prospect of higher rates for a longer period weighing on sentiment as ECB officials have taken an aggressive tone in recent days.


According to Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst at Swissquote Bank, "The first quarter of this year will be marked by the realization that it is too early for central banks to cut interest rates unless something really bad ? like another banking crisis, or a housing crisis, or another debt crisis, hits the economy. Because March ? where market prices reflect the first rate cuts by both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank ? is about two months away, and things don't look "that" bad."

Thus, the FTSE Mib is expected to fall 132.5 points or 0.4 percent after closing 0.5 percent in the red at 30,327.72.

In Europe, Paris's CAC 40 is expected to open down 29.6 points or 0.4 percent, while London's FTSE 100 is given in the red by 19.3 points or 0.3 percent and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is expected down 71.3 points or 0.4 percent.

"In Europe," Ozkardeskaya adds, "growth is slowing but the economic slowdown is what the ECB needs to lower inflation. And unless there is an abrupt halt in economic activity, the ECB will not rush to cut rates. Instead, the bank is now focused on easing pandemic-era aid programs. According to a recent Bloomberg survey, the ECB will make four 25-basis-point cuts this year starting in June instead of the six rate cuts starting in April ? as markets expected."

In international political news, Donald Trump won the Iowa caucuses, solidifying his position as the Republican presidential candidate at the end of the year.

Among Italy's minor listings Monday evening, the Mid-Cap gave up 0.2 percent to 44,273.18, the Small-Cap is traveling down 1.2 percent to 27,694.31, while Italy Growth is giving up 0.2 percent to 8,238.05.

On the Mib, bullish investors include Banca Mediolanum, which brought home a green of 2.3 percent. The bank reported Monday that it reported total net inflows of EUR1.22 billion in December. Net inflows in assets under management stood at EUR655 million in December.

Banca Generali, on the other hand, closed up 0.8 percent. The company reported Thursday that it recorded inflows of EUR834 million in December, bringing the full-year figure to EUR5.86 billion, up 3 percent year-on-year. December also saw a consolidated recovery in managed and insurance solutions compared to previous months, with EUR256 million in new flows. At the product level, financial containers collected EUR131 million in the month - and EUR699 million in the year -, confirming themselves as the solution that best meets the needs of private clients in terms of diversification and personalization offered.

Good buys also on Azimut, which closed with a bullish candle ofO 0.8 percent, following up on the previous session's 2.0 percent gain.

On the bearish side, A2A in the rear gave up 1.9% after the previous session's 1.5% green. Of note, there was a high trading volume on the stock, amounting to more than 23 million pieces traded compared to a three-month daily average of about 8.7 million.

Saipem closed 2.1 percent in the red,after reporting that the Algerian Supreme Court ruled in the criminal case initiated in December 2022 against the company in connection with its participation in a 2008 tender for competitive FEED studies related to the Rhourde Nouss QH project, confirming the company's acquittal.

Stellantis--in the red by 1.6 percent--reported Friday that its venture capital fund, Stellantis Ventures, announced its participation as a strategic investor in Tiamat, a French company that develops and commercializes sodium-ion battery technology.

On the Mid-Cap, the board of PharmaNutra -- down 1.8 percent -- on Thursday approved the group's preliminary sales figures for fiscal year 2023, reporting consolidated net revenues of EUR100.2 million, up 21 percent from full-year 2022, when they were EUR82.7 million.

Ariston Holding, on the other hand, left 3.0 percent on the parterre, after a 0.6 percent green in the previous session.

Credem - down 0.2 percent - announced Thursday evening that it had issued a new bond issue, aimed at institutional and professional investors, in the amount of EUR500 million. The issue, in the "Social Covered Bond" format, will go to support social sustainability activities and highlights the group's commitment to ESG.

Reply - up 0.3 percent to EUR122.00 - reported Friday that its subsidiary Storm Reply, a company specializing in cloud computing services, has built a cloud IoT solution for Eurogate, a renowned container terminal company, to collect and analyze operational data from machinery and systems in the cloud.

Among others on a positive note was Webuild's 3.2 percent gain, following Friday night's 0.8 percent green. Of note, Mirabella Financial Services on Friday raised its short on the stock to 0.50% from 0.46%.

Piaggio did even better, with the stock taking home a 3.8% gain after Friday night's 1.9% rise, closing as the best in the segment.

On the Small-Cap, Banca Sistema closed flat at EUR1.20, after reporting Friday that it had consolidated its Factoring business and ended 2023 with volumes up 26 percent year-on-year, for an amount of loans purchased that exceeded EUR5.5 billion.

Fidia, on the other hand, gave up 6.2 percent, closing for the ninth consecutive session with a bearish candle.

doValue -- in the red by more than 21 percent before going into the volatility auction -- announced that it has approved a new consolidated interim report as of Sept. 30, prepared in accordance with international accounting standards applicable to interim financial reporting in IAS 34. In detail, net revenues of EUR304.6 million were reported for the first nine months of the year from EUR380.0 million in the same period last year. The period closed with a loss of EUR25.7 million from a profit of EUR39.2 million. Ebitda including nonrecurring items amounted to EUR115.3 million from EUR151.9 million in the first nine months of 2022.

Unieuro--up 3.4 percent--reported Friday that it had approved results for the first nine months of 2023-2024 ended Nov. 30, which reported revenues of EUR1.92 billion from EUR2.04 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Among SMEs, boost on CleanBnB, which closed in the green by 8.5 percent with new price at EUR1.32 per share, on the heels of Friday night's more than 10 percent rise.

Gambero Rosso, on the other hand, advanced 5.0%, rebounding after four sessions closed with a bearish candle.

Omer rallied 6.7 percent after announcing Monday that it has signed a contract with Hitachi Rail to supply furniture components and fairings for 40 Frecciarossa ETR 1000 trains commissioned by Trenitalia. The value of the contract, the amount of which was not disclosed, "will contribute to the backlog in a percentage within a range of 15 to 20 percent," the company specified in a note.

Circle -- in the red by 1.5 percent -- on Monday disclosed that it has been awarded a new project financed by FILSE under the 2021-2027 ERDF regional program. The 18-month project will receive a total grant of about EUR770,000, of which about EUR190,000 will accrue to the company.

Iervolino & Lady Bacardi stepped back 6.7 percent, positioning itself for the ninth session in a row on the bearish side.

H-Farm, meanwhile, gave up 3.5 percent to EUR0.13, at 52-week lows.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 0.8 percent at 35,619.18, the Hang Seng was 2.0 percent in the red at 15,891.61, and the Shanghai Composite finished up 0.3 percent at 2,893.99.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0913 against USD1.0947 recorded in Monday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2666 from USD1.2728 last night.

Brent crude is worth USD78.25 per barrel versus USD78.35 per barrel at Monday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,050.29 an ounce from USD2,054.59 an ounce on Monday night.

Tuesday's economic calendar features, at 1000 CET, Italian inflation and Eurozone consumer expectations.

At 1100 CET, the ZEW confidence sentiment for Germany and the Eurozone will be coming in while, at 1210 CET, there will be a speech by Bundesbank number one Nagel.

At 1430 CET, inflation data will come in from Canada, at 1700 CET Waller from the Federal Reserve will speak, and finally, at 1430 CET, there will be an auction of Treasury bonds with three- and six-month maturities.

Among the companies in the Piazza Affari, the results of Gibus are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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