(Alliance News) - On Wednesday, major European stock markets are expected to be in positive territory as eyes are on the US inflation data due this afternoon.

Thus, IG futures give the FTSE Mib in the green by 0.4 percent or up 145.0 points, after closing 1.1 percent in the red at 33,946.29.

Paris' CAC 40 is expected up 0.5 percent or up 40.7 points, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is given in the green by 0.5 percent or up 84.5 points, and London's FTSE 100 is expected up 0.6 percent or up 51.3 points.

In macroeconomic news, ratings agency Fitch said Wednesday it downgraded China's sovereign credit outlook to negative, citing increased risks to the country's public finances.

The "outlook revision reflects rising risks to the future of China's public finances as the country faces a more uncertain economic outlook," it said in a press release.

"In recent years, large fiscal deficits and rising public debt have eroded fiscal reserves from a rating perspective," the agency warned.

From Japan, producer prices in Japan rose 0.8 percent year-on-year in March, meeting expectations and recording the highest reading since October last year, according to Bank of Japan data.

The March figure, released by the Bank of Japan, accelerated from February's upwardly revised 0.7 percent as costs rose faster for the following components: nonferrous metals, machinery and electrical equipment, and information and communication equipment.

On the Mib, DiaSorin did best of all by rising 3.5 percent, followed by Telecom Italia and STMicroelectronics, up 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

ERG also did well, up 0.5 percent. The company reported that rating agency Fitch Ratings confirmed a long term issuer default rating of 'BBB-', with a Stable outlook, and a senior unsecured rating of 'BBB-'.

Fitch pointed out that in an energy scenario characterized by increasing volatility, the rating reflects the soundness of the group's business model and portfolio.

Among the bearish was Snam, in the red by 0.3 percent. The company announced Monday that it had completed the issuance of a EUR750 million floating-rate bond, two-year maturity and papri coupon at three-month Euribor plus 0.4 percent.

The company explained that the transaction is part of its strategy to optimize the cost of debt, which is expected to average 2.6 percent over the plan period.

Banca Generali -- in the red by 0.9 percent -- reported Monday that it recorded net inflows of EUR600 million, bringing its total since the beginning of the year to EUR1.65 billion.

The flow mix in the quarter improved markedly due to a strong increase in demand for investment products and services that rose to EUR651 million in the period from EUR109 million in January-March last year.

At the bottom was Leonardo, down 8.9 percent. "Goldman Sachs considers the stock prices of European defense biggies to be overvalued, after two years of a wild ride, and on the stock market the shares of giants such as Rheinmetall and Leonardo come to an immediate halt. The theme is an alleged overestimation of profits to come, because from the geopolitical point of view there seems to be no appreciable news," wrote Alliance News columnist Francesco Bonazzi.

"Pulling the trigger on today's declines was a Goldman Sachs report that started from an undoubted consideration: since the Covid days, defense stocks have benefited from a hefty mass of money from big investors, who had bet on an increase in military spending by European governments with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022."

"For analysts at the U.S. investment bank, a decline in defense sector prices is now more likely than a new run for them between now and 2025."

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri rose 3.9 percent after reporting that it received an order to build four new generation cruise ships from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

In detail, two ships will be for the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand and two for Oceania Cruises. The former are expected to be delivered in 2026 and the latter in 2029.

Anima Holding - in the red by 1.9 percent - reported Monday that it posted negative inflows of EUR94 million in March, bringing its total since the beginning of the year to a negative EUR867 million.

Among smallcaps, Itway gave up 0.9 percent after it announced Monday that its board of directors had appointed Massimo Fanelli as co-general manager with powers of ordinary administration.

Fanelli has served as deputy general manager since November 2022.

TXT e-solutions - down 1.3 percent - announced Tuesday that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Azimut Direct, a fintech company of the Azimut Group - down 1.7 percent on the Mib - that specializes in direct lending, minibonds and private equity.

Autostrade Meridionali - flat at EUR14.76 per share - reported Monday results for the first quarter of the year, in which revenues were reported down to EUR59,000 from EUR140,000 as of March 31, 2023.

Unidata lost 0.8 percent after reporting Tuesday that it had signed a contract for Acquedotto Lucano to carry out interventions aimed at reducing losses in water distribution networks, including digitization and monitoring of networks.

Among SMEs, CrowdFundMe--flat at EUR2.10 per share--reported on Tuesday that it recorded a turnover of EUR530,000 in the first quarter compared to EUR345,931 in the same period a year earlier, an increase of 53 percent.

Comal rose 4.5 percent after it reported that it signed two contracts worth a total of EUR41.5 million with a leading foreign energy investor for the turnkey supply on an EPC-M formula of a photovoltaic plant and the connection to another plant in southern Italy. The first contract also includes the supply of Comal's "Sun Hunter" tracker.

In Asia, the Nikkei is in the red 0.5 percent to 39,572.26, the Hang Seng is in the green 1.6 percent to 17,087.37, and the Shanghai Composite gives up 0.9 percent to 3,022.02.

In New York on Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed fractionally in the red at 38,883.67, the S&P finished up 0.1 percent at 5,209.91, and the Nasdaq closed in the green by 0.3 percent at 16,306.64.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0848 from USD1.0857 on Tuesday in closing European equities while the pound was worth USD1.2676 from USD1.2668 on Tuesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD89.48 a barrel from USD89.87 Tuesday evening and gold trades at USD2,374.20 from USD2,364.25 Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday's economic calendar, Italy is scheduled to release retail sales at 1000 CEST, while at the same time some macros from China are expected such as data on new mortgages, M2 money supply and ongoing loan growth.

At 1110 CEST, still in Italy, the results of a 12-month BOT auction are published.

At 1300 CEST it is the turn of the rate on 30-year MBA mortgages in the US. At 1430 CEST, US inflation is released.

Among the companies listed in Piazza Affari, Fidia's results are expected.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

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