(Alliance News) - On Wednesday, major European stock markets confirmed expectations and opened in positive territory, on a quiet day in macroeconomic terms as U.S. inflation data are expected in the afternoon and Italian retail sales first.

Thus, the FTSE Mib opens in the green by 0.6 percent at 34,148.11, the Mid-Cap is in the green by 0.3 percent at 47,589.05, as is the Small-Cap at 28,412.44, while Italy Growth is in the green by 0.1 percent at 8,159.31.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 is in the green by 0.4 percent, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.6 percent, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is up 0.7 percent.

On the Mib, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is doing better than anyone, in the green by 2.4 percent, followed by Leonardo in the green by 1.3 percent and STMicroelectronics, up 1.2 percent.

Leonardo is recovering down 8.9 percent from Tuesday's close. "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."

ERG also rises, up 0.9 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.

Snam is up 0.9 percent. The company announced on 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 a strategy to optimize the cost of debt, which is expected to average 2.6 percent over the plan period.

Among the bearers are three stocks, Italgas, Saipem and Amplifon, down between 0.8 percent and 0.3 percent.

Banca Generali -- in the red by 0.1 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 thanks 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.

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri gives up 1.7 percent after rising 3.9 percent Tuesday after reporting that it has received an order to build four new next-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 green by 0.4 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 gained 0.6 percent after it reported Monday that its board of directors 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 - in the green by 1.1 percent - disclosed Tuesday that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Azimut Direct, a fintech company of the Azimut Group - up 0.3 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 is not yet affected by trading. The company announced Tuesday that it has 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, Growens -- in the green by 0.6 percent -- reported on Wednesday first-quarter sales figures for the CPaaS line of business and annual recurring revenues for the SaaS line in March.

In detail, for the SaaS line there was annual recurring revenue of EUR12.1 million in March from EUR10.0 million in 2023, up 20 percent.

For the CPaaS line of business there was a 5.1 percent decrease in Q1 2024 from Q1 2023.

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

Emma Villas rises 1.4 percent after reporting that it has finalized the acquisition of 100 percent of Marche Holiday Villas, a newly established company into which the property rental business for tourism purposes of Marche Holiday, which specializes in rentals of vacation homes, villas with swimming pools and apartments in the Marche region and central Italy, was contributed.

Comal rises 0.8 percent after it announced that it has 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 closed in the red 0.5 percent to 39,581.81, the Hang Seng was in the green 1.8 percent to 17,130.45, and the Shanghai Composite gave up 0.7 percent to 3,027.34.

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 USD1.0854 from USD1.0857 in Tuesday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2682 from USD1.2668 Tuesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD89.78 a barrel from USD89.87 Tuesday evening and gold trades at USD2,373.90 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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