(Alliance News) - European stock markets are headed for a slightly upward opening Monday morning on a day that is poor from the perspective of macro economic data, as investors cautiously await this week's key U.S. inflation data, which could guide the outlook for interest rates globally.

In Asia, it is reported that the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges are closed for Chinese New Year and the Tokyo stock exchange is closed for Foundation Day.

Thus, according to IG futures, the FTSE Mib is expected to rise 0.5 percent or 152.5 points, after closing up 0.3 percent at 31,156.06.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is expected to be in the green by 0.3 percent or 20.8 points, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is expected to open up 0.4 percent or 60.9 points while Paris' CAC 40 is expected up 0.5 percent or 40.0 points.

"Revisions to U.S. inflation last Friday were insignificant, suggesting that inflation remained virtually unchanged at the end of last year. Consumer prices rose 3.3 percent in the last three months of the year in the U.S., which is good news for all those who want to see the Federal Reserve start cutting interest rates in the first half of this year," commented Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst at Swissquote Bank.

"But alas," he continued, "the U.S. two-year yield, which best reacts to rate expectations, rose on Friday while the 10-year yield flirted back to the 4.20 percent level despite strong bond auctions last week. Activity on Fed funds futures gives less than a 20 percent chance of a first rate cut in March, while the probability of a cut in May has fallen to about 63 percent, from more than 90 percent before the rattling jobs report released in January."

Among Italy's smaller lists on Friday evening, the Mid-Cap gave up 0.2 percent to 45.174.30, the Small-Cap lost 0.5 percent to 27.213.46, and Italy Growth finished the session down 0.5 percent to 8.087.04.

On the Mib on Friday, on the day the results were released, Iveco Group did better than all and took the top spot, closing up 7.7 percent. The board approved results for the 2023 financial year, which closed with adjusted net profit of EUR352 million from EUR127 million in 2022.

The board plans to propose to the company's shareholders the payment of an annual dividend of EUR0.22 per ordinary share, totaling about EUR59 million.

Consolidated revenues were EUR16.21 billion, up 13 percent. Net revenues from industrial activities amounted to EUR15.9 billion, up 12.1%, mainly due to better pricing and higher volumes and mix.

Banco BPM did well, in the green by 2.1%. The bank reported Thursday that it ended 2023 with a net profit of EUR1.26 billion, up 85 percent from EUR685.0 million a year earlier.

In the fourth quarter alone, the bank posted a net income of EUR321.1 million, which compares with EUR319.0 million in the previous quarter.

Net interest income rose to EUR3.29 billion from EUR2.31 billion a year earlier while, in the fourth quarter alone, it touched EUR867.7 million, stable on a sequential basis.

Among the bearish closed Mediobanca, in the red by 1.7 percent. The company reported Thursday that it closed the first half of its 2023-2024 fiscal year with net income up 10 percent to EUR611.2 million from EUR555.5 million in the same period a year earlier.

Net interest and other banking income rose 4.3 percent to EUR1.73 billion from EUR1.66 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022, with net interest income up to EUR996.5 million from EUR842.9 million a year earlier. Expenses increased to EUR735.4 million from EUR690.9 million.

On the parity line, Azimut Holding on Thursday reported positive net inflows of EUR414 million in January 2024. Total assets including assets under administration stood at EUR92.1 billion at the end of January, of which EUR61.3 billion refer to assets under management.

Gross income marks a 12 percent increase to EUR842.2 million from EUR751.0 million a year earlier.

Doing worse than all were ERG, Hera and A2A, which gave up 2.7 percent, 2.4 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

On the cadet segment, Credito Emiliano -- in the green by 2.2 percent -- reported Thursday that it closed 2023 with a net profit of EUR562.1 million, which compares with a net profit of EUR326.1 million in 2022.

The sharp increase in net income prompted the bank's board to propose the distribution of an annual doubled dividend of EUR0.65 compared to the EUR0.33 paid last year.

Cementir Holding gave up 8.1 percent after reporting Thursday that it ended 2023 with revenues of EUR1.69 billion, down slightly from EUR1.72 billion in 2022.

Buzzi lost 1.0 percent after sharing on Friday preliminary information for fiscal 2023, which closed with net revenues of EUR4.32 billion, up 8.1 percent from EUR4.00 billion in 2022 despite a decline in sales volumes, which, however, was offset by positive price dynamics.

Among smallcaps, Piquadro closed 1.4 percent in the red after reporting Thursday that revenues for the first nine months rose to EUR131.5 million from EUR126.8 million in the same period a year earlier.

Mondo TV - down 2.4 percent - reported Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Yamato Video to distribute some material from its library in Italy.

The board of Banca Sistema - in the red by 4.5 percent - on Friday approved the consolidated financial statements as of December 31, which closed with a net profit of EUR16.5 million compared to EUR22.0 million in 2022.

Net interest income of EUR67.0 million was down 22 percent year-on-year.

Among SMEs, Pattern lost 1.6 percent after announcing Friday that it has appointed Invest Italy Spa as Euronext Growth Advisor.

Invest Italy will replace CFO SIM Spa as of March 1.

EdiliziAcrobatica lost 4.4 percent Friday after announcing that it had signed binding agreements to establish a corporate and commercial joint venture with Italsoft Group and at the same time proceeded to establish Acrobatica Smart Living Srl.

Reway Group gained 1.1 percent after it announced on Friday that its subsidiary MGA Srl - Manutenzioni Generali Autostrade, which specializes in the renovation and rehabilitation of tunnels, bridges and highway viaducts - was awarded, as part of a consortium led by the Webuild Group - in the red by 1.5 percent on the Mid - an order worth a share of EUR33 million for the structural rehabilitation of highway viaducts in central Italy.

In New York on Friday, the Dow closed in the red 0.1 percent to 38,671.69, the Nasdaq rose 1.3 percent to 15,990.66 and the S&P 500 finished in the green 0.6 percent to 5,026.61.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0791 against USD1.0785 recorded at Friday's European stock close, while the pound was worth USD1.2632 from USD1.2631 on Friday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD81.92 per barrel versus USD81.51 per barrel at Friday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,023.51 an ounce from USD2,035.75 an ounce on Friday night.

Monday's calendar includes, at 1100 CET, the Spanish consumer confidence index and from the Eurozone the publication of the EU economic forecasts to coincide with the start of the Eurogroup meeting.

At 1700 CET in the US, data on consumer inflation expectations are published.

On the bond front, French BTF auctions with 3-, 6- and 12-month maturities are expected at 1355 CET, while from overseas it is the turn of US Treasury bond auctions with 3- and 6-month maturities.

Among companies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, Edison's results are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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