(Alliance News) - On Wednesday, Piazza Affari--according to the futures market--is expected to open with a bearish trend, on par with most other European stock markets and in the wake of the declines seen in the European night on Wall Street. Acting as a driver in the prevalence of the "sell" side is the U.S. CPI figure released early Tuesday afternoon, which was higher than expected and therefore acted as a firefighter on the large portion of the market still positioned on the hypothesis of imminent Federal Reserve cuts.

The consumer price index in the world's leading economy rose 0.3 percent on a monthly basis and 3.1 percent on a yearly basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, surpassing forecasts that called for a 0.2 percent increase on a monthly basis and 2.9 percent on a yearly basis.

The higher-than-expected figure thus suggests that the Federal Reserve may become even more cautious about the prospect of cutting interest rates than the market expects.

Macro data leading up to the ringing of the bell include that the U.K. inflation rate remained unchanged at 4.0 percent in January 2024, keeping close to the two-year low in November and below market expectations of 4.2 percent. However, it is thus known to be double the Bank of England's target of 2.0%.

Thus, the FTSE Mib, is giving up 45.00 points, after closing 1.0% in the red at 31,134.17 last night.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 is stepping back 4.00 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is just below par. London's FTSE 100, on the other hand, the only bullish one, is advancing 28.30 points.

Among the smaller listings last night, the Mid-Cap gave up 1.0 percent to 45,102.05, the Small-Cap left 0.3 percent at 27,434.64 on the parterre, while Italy Growth closed 0.4 percent in the red at 8,090.31.

On the Mib last night, good trades for Saipem, which closed up 1.6 percent with new price at EUR1.35 per share. Of note, PDT Partners cut its short on the stock to 0.46 percent from 0.59 percent previously.

Pirelli & C, on the other hand, marked a green of 1.5 percent with new price at EUR5.46 per share. The stock on an intraday basis during the session updated its 52-week high to EUR5.53.

Banco BPM, on the other hand, gave up 3.9 percent, the subject of profit-taking after four bullish sessions on the strength of good accounts. Indeed, on Thursday it reported 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.

The credit institution's CET 1 ratio is 14.2 percent and compares with 12.8 percent as of Dec. 31, 2022.

FinecoBank, on the other hand, left 3.1 percent to EUR12.73 on the parterre after 1.9 percent green on the eve of the meeting.

On the cadet segment, it led Intercos Group, which rose 5.1 percent to EUR15.24 after 0.6 percent green in the previous session.

Industrie de Nora picked up 3.7 percent after 1.4 percent green on eve. Citadel Advisors cut its short on the stock to 0.67 percent from 0.79 percent previously.

Saras closed 0.7 percent in the red after it reported that Massimo Moratti Sapa's Angel Capital Management Spa and Stella Holding Spa and Vitol BV, a Dutch company, entered into a sale and purchase agreement under which the Moratti family agreed to sell shares in Saras representing about 35 percent of the company's share capital to Vitol at a price of EUR1.75 per share. The price per share implies a capitalization of Saras around EUR1.7 billion.

Technoprobe, on the other hand, left 5.1 percent on the ground after a 0.3 percent green in the previous session.

Among smallcaps, CIR closed bullish by 4.4 percent at EUR0.4485 per share, with the company continuing with its buyback program. Most recently, it announced Monday that it had bought back its own ordinary shares - between February 5 and 9 - for a total value of EUR254,000 or so.

Alkemy closed bullish by 4.3 percent, after a 0.6 percent gain in the previous session.

Fidia, on the other hand, gave up 7.2% to EUR0.3340, in its fifth bearish session.

Banca Sistema left 1.3% on the parterre. The board of directors on Friday approved the consolidated financial statements as of Dec. 31, which closed with a net profit of EUR16.5 million compared to EUR22.0 million in 2022. Net interest income, at EUR67.0 million, is down 22 percent year-on-year.

Among SMEs, Alfonsino rose 5.6 percent after announcing Tuesday the completion of the process of integrating the proprietary Rushers platform within its business model.

High quarters also for AATech, which advanced 8.3 percent, with price at EUR1.30 per share, in its third session with a bullish candle.

Eprcommunication, on the other hand, gave up 7.9 percent to EUR1.75 per share, on its ninth bearish session.

Caribbean Company contracted 3.6 percent, following a 1.1 percent green in the previous session.

In New York, the Dow gave up 1.4 percent, the Nasdaq 1.8 percent, and the S&P 500 closed down 1.4 percent.

Among Asian exchanges, the Nikkei gave up 0.7 percent, the Hang Seng rose 0.8 percent, while the Chinese stock market remained closed for holidays.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USDagainst USD1.0716 recorded in Tuesday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USDfrom USD1.2601 on Tuesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USDper barrel against USD82.77 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD an ounce from USD1,994.39 an ounce last night.

Wednesday's calendar includes, at 1100 CET, from the Eurozone, the release of industrial production and Gross Domestic Product data.

At 1300 CET, from the U.S. will come the report on the mortgage market, while at 1630 CET will be the release of the crude oil stocks figure and the EIA report.

On the corporate calendar, results from EdiliziAcrobatica, eVISO, FOS, Gefran, Interpump, Svas Biosana and Telecom Italia are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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