(Alliance News) - The Mib moved just below the parity line in the third session of the week, with the point bar in the 34,200 area -- still at highs since 2008 -- as trading desks expressed caution ahead of the announcement of the Federal Reserve rate decision later in the day.

On the domestic front, Italy's industrial production fell on both a monthly and annual basis in January, extending the period of decline, as reported by Istat on Wednesday. It fell 1.2 percent on a monthly basis in January after rising 1.2 percent in December, with the latter figure revised from the initial 1.1 percent increase.

On a year-on-year basis, industrial production fell 3.4 percent after falling 1.5 percent in December, revised from the initial 1.5 percent decline.

Thus, the FTSE Mib travels just below the parity line at 34,246.23, the Mid-Cap gives up 0.1% to 47,151.27, the Small-Cap loses 0.5% to 27,296.42, and Italy Growth rises 0.3% to 8,134.93.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 falls 0.2%, Paris' CAC 40 gives up 0.6%, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is advancing 0.2%.

On the Mib, DiaSorin is giving up 1.7 percent with nuvo price at EUR93.06 per share, closing the bluechip list after two sessions closed with bullish candle.

Poste Italiane -- down 2.7 percent -- unveiled its new strategic plan 2024-2026 on Wednesday, which calls for growth in investments and estimates rising revenues and profits over the plan's arc. The dividend is expected to be no less than EUR1.00 from 2026 while revenues are expected at EUR13.5 billion in 2028, with average annual growth of 3 percent. Operating income is expected at EUR3.2 billion, with CAGR of 4%, and net income is expected at EUR2.3 billion at the end of the plan, with annual growth of 4%.

Eni, on the other hand, is giving up 1.5 percent to EUR14.33 per share, after 2.4 percent green in the previous session. Worth mentioning is that Beremberg cut its target price to EUR15.00 from EUR17.00.

Terna, on the other hand, trades with bullish trend of 4.3%, better than the Mib with new price at EUR7.90 per share. Goldman Sachs raised Terna's target price to EUR7.95 from EUR6.65. The company also announced that Moody's has confirmed its 'Baa2' long-term rating on the company, with a Stable outlook.

The rating - one notch higher than Italy's - comes following the presentation of the 2024-2028 business plan, with the highest investments ever recorded in Terna's history, "aimed at strengthening the company's central role as an enabler of the energy transition and of an increasingly articulated, sustainable and innovative electricity system," the agency explained.

In the wake of Moody's, S&P also confirmed the long-term rating at 'BBB+' with a Stable outlook.

For Prysmian - also in the small circle of bullish investors - the green, on the other hand, is 1.4 percent, with new price at a new 52-week high of EUR49.38.

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri advances well, going up 5.6 percent and updating the yearly high at EUR0.6640.

Good buys also on Mondadori, which advances 1.8 percent coin after 0.5 percent red on eve.

Fitch Ratings announced Wednesday that it had upgraded the outlook on Acea--which advances 1.2 percent--from Negative to Stable, confirming the long-term issuer default rating at 'BBB+.' In addition, the rating agency confirmed the short-term IDR at 'F2' and the long-term senior unsecured rating at 'BBB+'.

Saras, on the other hand, is priced at EUR1.78, unchanged on the previous session. Of note, Barclays cut its target price on the stock to EUR1.75 from EUR1.70 per share.

Juventus FC, on the other hand, gives up 2.7 percent, with price at EUR2.33, after two sessions closed with a bullish candle.

On the SmallCap, boost on Softlab, which is priced bullish by 4.7 percent at EUR1.32. The stock - which has been missing the ex-dividend since 2003 - on the weekly pays a loss of nearly 6 percent.

B&C Speakers -- up 0.3% -- reported Tuesday that it ended 2023 with a total group profit of EUR13.9 million, up 13% from EUR12.3 million as of December 31, 2022. The company proposed to pay a dividend of EUR0.70 per share from EUR0.60 in 2022.

FILA -- in the red by 3.3 percent -- on Tuesday reported that it ended 2023 with consolidated revenues of EUR779.2 million from EUR764.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2022. Normalized net income for the period was EUR40.6 million from EUR42.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2022. The company said it has proposed to distribute a dividend of a maximum total amount of EUR6.1 million, confirming that of EUR0.12 per share in 2022.

Eurotech--double-digit bearish with more than 11 percent--reported that it closed 2023 with a net loss of EUR3.1 million compared to a loss of EUR1.6 million in 2022. Revenues fell to EUR93.8 million from EUR94.3 million while, at constant exchange rates, there would be a 3.6 percent year-on-year increase.

Among SMEs, Growens advanced 3.9 percent, rewarded by good 2023 accounts. The company ended last year with a net profit of EUR53.2 million, compared to the EUR2.5 million red booked in 2022, "as a result of the extraordinary divestment operations carried out in 2023."

At the end of 2023, the net financial position was EUR42.10 million positive, compared to EUR66,000 at the end of 2022.

Italian Wine Brands - in the green by 2.8 percent - announced Wednesday that it had concluded its share buyback program. Under the plan, the company bought back 30,000 of its own shares, paying an average of EUR17.58 each, for a total value of about EUR527,000.

The tail end of the list is for Imprendiroma, which marks a minus 4.3 percent to EUR2.24, on the heels of the same loss as on the eve of the event.

Confinvest, on the other hand, gives up 4.1 percent, following Tuesday night's 3.3 percent decline.

In New York, the Dow closed Tuesday up 0.8 percent to 39,110.76, the Nasdaq gained 0.4 percent to 16,166.79 and the S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to 5,178.51.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0842 against USD1.0860 recorded in Tuesday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2694 from USD1.2719 on Tuesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD86.43 per barrel versus USD86.63 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,152.96 an ounce from USD2,154.43 an ounce Tuesday night.

The macroeconomic calendar features US crude oil stocks at 1530 CET. But the catalyst of the day will be the Federal Reserve's decision, due at 1900 CET.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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