(Alliance News) - European stock markets on Wednesday opened without a single direction, with Piazza Affari still letting the buy side prevail. Caution reigned among traders ahead of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes, in addition to investors' expectation for preliminary data on Eurozone consumer confidence in February.

The Fed is currently expected to keep rates unchanged in March and May, but there is a 55 percent chance that the central bank will cut rates by 25 basis points in June.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, opened up 0.3 percent at 31,798.09 after touching a high at 31,828.11.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 is just below par, London's FTSE 100 is giving up 0.6 percent, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is advancing 0.1 percent.

The Mid-Cap opened in the red 0.1 percent to 45,325.88, the Small-Cap is advancing 0.3 percent to 27,610.01, while Italy Growth is in the red 0.1 percent to 8,117.22.

On the Mib, Mediobanca is off to a good start, leading the price up 2.7% to EUR12.18, pointing to its fifth bullish daily candle.

Deutsche Bank has raised its target price for Monte dei Paschi, with price to EUR5.10 from EUR4.40. The stock, up 2.3 percent, is currently priced at EUR3.52 per share.

A2A -- in the green by 0.2 percent -- reported Tuesday that its board of directors reviewed preliminary consolidated results for fiscal year 2023, which closed with Ebitda of EUR1.97 billion, up 32 percent from EUR1.50 billion in 2022. Ordinary Ebitda, i.e., net of extraordinary items recorded in the period, stood at EUR1.93 billion up 30 percent from FY 2022 when it was EUR1.49 billion.

Enel - in the red by 0.2 percent - announced Tuesday that it had successfully launched on the European market the issuance of a EUR900 million non-convertible, subordinated hybrid perpetual bond with euro denomination for institutional investors. The bond has been oversubscribed more than 3 times, totaling orders of more than EUR3 billion.

On the Mid-Cap, boost on Salvatore Ferragamo, which closed ahead 1.2 percent at EUR12.89 per share, rearing its head after two bearish sessions.

Maire Tecnimont -- ahead 1.9 percent -- announced Wednesday that it has been awarded an EPC contract by Eni Spa to build a hydrogen production plant at Eni's Livorno refinery. The total value of the contract is EUR123 million and the project is scheduled for completion in 2026.

Banca Ifis - in the money with 1.2 percent - announced on Tuesday evening that it had completed the placement of a senior preferred unsecured bond issue under its EMTN issue program in the amount of EUR400 million. The transaction was targeted at institutional investors.

Technoprobe is giving up 5.2 percent, heading for a third bearish session.

On the other hand, d'Amico is giving up 2.1 percent, with new price at EUR5.95 per share, on the heels of the eve's red close of 4.0 percent.

On the Small-Cap side, strength on Giglio Group, which is driving the price ahead 3.0% to EUR0.44 per share, after the 2.3% loss on the eve.

doValue, on the other hand, is advancing 2.6%, on the eve of the release of its accounts.

Among the bearish performers, in the rear ranks is Italian Exhibition Group, which is giving up 2.3% in the wake of the eve's red closed with the same bearish percentage.

Among SMEs, International Care Company is off to a good start, leading the price ahead 5.6 percent heading for the third session to close on the bullish side.

Eles - up 2.1 percent - reported Tuesday that its board of directors reviewed its pre-consolidated sales revenue figures for 2023, which were found to be EUR32.8 million, up 26 percent from EUR26.1 million in 2022.

On a negative note, in a still uneventful list, Imprendiroma is giving up 3.2 percent to EUR2.42 per share.

In New York on the European night, the Dow closed down 0.2 percent, the Nasdaq gave up 0.9 percent, and the S&P slipped 0.6 percent.

Among Asian exchanges, the Nikkei gave up 0.3 percent, the Hang Seng rallied 1.6 percent, while the Shanghai Composite posted a green of 1.0 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0808 against USD1.0815 recorded in Tuesday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2617 from USD1.2645 on Tuesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD81.85 per barrel versus USD82.36 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,030.48 an ounce from USD2,027.37 an ounce Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday's economic calendar, a 10-year German Bund auction is scheduled at 1130 CET.

At 1300 CET coming from the US is the mortgage report, followed at 1400 CET by a speech by FOMC's Bostic, while at 2000 CET FOMC minutes will be released.

At 2230 CET coming up on weekly oil stocks.

Among companies, results from doValue, Matica Fintec, Recordati, Talea Group and TXT-Solutions are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News senior reporter

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