(Alliance News) - On Monday, Piazza Affari closed the session in positive territory along with other European stock markets, with the U.S. and U.K. exchanges closed for holidays, while on the monetary policy front, the ECB's cut in the cost of money is given almost as a certainty for trading floors.

Investors now anticipate an almost complete likelihood that the European Central Bank will cut rates at next week's meeting. However, doubts remain about further cuts beyond June, with traders now expecting only one more cut during the year.

ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane told the FT that the central bank is ready to cut interest rates in June, but that policy should continue to be restrictive as wage growth is not expected to normalize until 2026.

Francois Villeroy de Galhau--head of the Central Bank of France--also said the Eutotower should not rule out lowering rates at both the June and July meetings, opposing colleagues who do not espouse the possibility of consecutive cuts.

Villeroy told the German daily Boersen-Zeitung that he favors "maximum optionality" after next month's cut, which he said can only be interrupted by a "shock."

Thus, the FTSE Mib closed up 0.8 percent to 34,761.97, the Mid-Cap rallied 1.3 percent to 48,305.93, the Small-Cap closed in the green 0.4 percent to 29,124.23, while Italy Growth rallied 0.3 percent to 8,266.24.

In Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris closed in the green by 0.4 percent as did the DAX 40 in Frankfurt.

On the Mib, Saipem advanced 3.6 percent to EUR2.38 after three sessions closed with a loss. The company last week reported that its subsidiary Saipem Finance International had successfully completed the placement of a new fixed-rate nonconvertible and unsubordinated bond for a total amount of EUR500 million maturing in May 2030. The bonds pay an annual coupon of 4.875 percent and have a 100 percent re-offer price. The issue date is scheduled for May 30, 2024.

Leonardo also advanced 1.4 percent after announcing Friday that it has signed a framework agreement with operator PHI Group for 12 AW189 helicopters to support the global energy market starting in 2025. The agreement, which consists of orders and options, also includes a support partnership, with a service contract, an MRO contract - maintenance, repair and overhaul - and training solutions for the AW139 and AW189 models.

Among the bearers was Banca Mediolanum, which gave up 0.8 percent, following up Friday night's 0.4 percent loss.

BPER Banca, on the other hand, left 0.4 percent on the parterre after two sessions closed with a bullish candle. On Monday, the rating agency Moody's made it known that it had revised its major ratings upward. The agency, in particular, revised upward in the Investment Grade area the standalone Baseline Credit Assesment rating from "ba1" to "baa3" and the long-term ratings on senior unsecured debt and the issuer rating both rising from "Ba1" to "Baa3." The outlook was changed to stable from positive.

For Banca Popolare di Sondrio -- down for most of the session -- the close was positive with nearly 0.1 percent, after 0.6 percent red on the eve.

On the cadet segment, Zignago Vetro brought home a 7.4 percent gain. The company--which exited its dividend and mid-May--raised its head again after two bearish sessions.

Fincantieri closed in the green by 0.2 percent after announcing Friday that the U.S. Department of Defense awarded the U.S. subsidiary, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, the EUR1.00 billion-plus contract to build the fifth and sixth "Constellation" class frigates for the U.S. Navy. The contract for the first frigate and option for nine more ships, signed in 2020, has a total value of about EUR5.5 billion and includes after-sales support and crew training.

Carel Industries, on the other hand, brought home a 5.1 percent gain, after a bearish candle with a 1.4 percent drop on Friday night.

Good purchases were also made on Piaggio, which advanced 2.2 percent. On the stock--which again did not miss its dividend date this year--it is reported that Marshall Wace cut its short to 0.69% from 0.71% previously.

Among the minority of bearish performers, PharmaNutra closed down 2.4 percent, in profit taking after three sessions closed with a positive balance.

Among smallcaps, Newlat Food climbed more than 12 percent after announcing Monday that it has signed an agreement to purchase 100 percent of the share capital of Princes Limited, a historic UK-based food group founded in Liverpool in 1880 and currently owned by Mitsubishi Corporation. The consideration set on a debt free and cash free basis is GBP700 million, including GBP650 million to be paid in cash and GBP50 million to be paid in Newlat Food shares. With the acquisition of Princes, "Newlat Food will achieve consolidated sales of approximately EUR3 billion and a strong position in new categories in the UK market," the statement said.

Eems advanced more than 10 percent, following Friday's gain of 6.9 percent to EUR0.3426. As Teleborsa's analysis writes, "signs of strengthening for the short-term trend with more immediate resistance seen at EUR0.3423, with a support level controlling the current phase estimated at EUR0.2738. Eems balanced bullish strength is supported by the upward crossing of the 5-day moving average over the 34-day moving average. By the technical implications assumed we should see a continuation of the bullish phase toward EUR0.4108."

Cairo Communication, on the other hand, gave up 5.8 percent. The stock-which in 2024 shows an asset of about 16 percent-closed last session in the green by 1.9 percent.

Conafi, also'sso in the rear, contracted 7.8 percent, on its seventh bearish daily candle in a row.

Among SMEs, NVP rose 4.4 percent after announcing on Monday, ahead of the new 24-29 Serie A cycle, an agreement with Enilive and DAZN for the editorial integration of Serie A Enilive from Italy's main stadiums in advanced remote production mode and the implementation of innovative technological solutions for the creation of DAZN's first virtual studio in Italy.

Estrima, on the other hand, picked up 5.6 percent on the heels of the 5.9 percent green with which it closed Friday night's session.

Mevim gained 3.3 percent after announcing Friday that its board of directors approved the consolidated financial statements for the 2023 fiscal year, which closed with a loss of EUR1.9 million, worsening from a loss of EUR1.2 million in 2022.

Among the many bearish traders, Execus gave up 8.7 percent, in its seventh straight session closed with a negative balance.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0857 from USD1.0845 on Friday in closing European equities while the pound was worth USD1.2774 from USD1.2736 on Friday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD83.06 per barrel from USD81.87 per barrel on Friday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,356.42 an ounce from USD2,339.90 an ounce on Friday night.

On Tuesday's macroeconomic calendar, Germany's wholesale price data will arrive at 0800 CEST, while a Eurogroup meeting is scheduled at 1200 CEST.

From the U.S., the M2 money supply figure is due at 1900 CEST while, later in the day, several members of the Federal Reserve will speak.

Among the companies in the U.S. stock market, results from Alfonsino, Allcore, Arras Group, Casta Diva, Eligo, Estrima, Sciuker Frames, Softlab, SolidWorld Group, and TrenDevice are expected.

Canadian wholesale sales are expected at 1430 CEST.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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