(Alliance News) - European stock markets -- according to the futures market -- are set for a tepidly upbeat opening Wednesday as investors prepare for, among other things, the U.K.'s budget statement for 2024, in which Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will outline the government's plans for taxation and spending to the British Parliament.

Markets also await Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's speech before the U.S. Congress for guidance on the path of U.S. monetary policy.

On the corporate side, we highlight the release of Acea's accounts for 2023, a year that ended with a net profit of EUR294 million compared to EUR279.7 million in 2022. Recurring profit is EUR280 million, up 22 percent from 2022. The board proposed a dividend of EUR0.88 per share, 4% higher than in 2022.

Thus, the FTSE Mib, marks a gain of 20.00 points, after closing up 0.1 percent to 32,146.16 last night.

Paris' CAC 40 is in fractional green, London's FTSE 100 advances 9.80 points, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 advances just above par.

Among Italy's smaller listings on Tuesday evening, the Mid-Cap closed just below par at 45,935.84, the Small-Cap gave up 1.0 percent to 27,592.53 while Italy Growth left 0.1 percent at 8,197.03 on the par.

On the Mib last night, boost on Tenaris, which closed up 3.6 percent at EUR16.99 per share. The company, which is continuing with its buyback program, reported Friday that between February 26 and March 1 it bought back shares worth a total of EUR82.2 million.

A2A, on the other hand, closed in the green by 3.28 percent, on its third bullish candle and as the best on the list.

Strength also on Hera, which led the price ahead 2.7 percent, after the previous session's 0.9 percent red.

DiaSorin gave up 0.1 percent. The company announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new Liaison Plex platform and its first test panel, the Liaison Plex Respiratory Flex Assay. Liaison Plex expands and consolidates DiaSorin's position in the syndromic multiplexing market, which has a global value of about USD2.9 billion and is estimated to grow to about USD4 billion by 2027.

Moncler, on the other hand, left 1.4 percent on the parterre at EUR65.98 per share, on the heels of a 0.8 percent loss on the eve. Worth mentioning, Stifel on Monday raised its target price to EUR62.00 from EUR56.00 with a 'hold' recommendation.

STMicroelectronics, on the other hand, closed on a negative note of 1.2 percent at EUR42.41 per share, on the heels of the bearish candle of eve with 0.9 percent.

On the cadet segment, the board of Maire Tecnimont -- up more than 11 percent -- met Tuesday to review and approve the 2023 financial statements, which closed with a net profit of EUR129.5 million, up 43 percent on the previous year. The board proposed the distribution of a dividend of EUR0.197 per share, up 59% from the previous year, increasing the payout ratio from 45% to 50%.

Webuild climbed equally by 11 percent after announcing Tuesday that subsidiary Lane has acquired the USD299 million project to build the "Seminole Expressway/SR 417 Project" in Florida. With this contract, Webuild, through Lane, confirms a strong presence in the U.S., its second most important non-domestic market after Australia in terms of revenue.

Iren, on the other hand, rallied 3.8 percent, rearing its head again after two bearish sessions.

Banca Popolare di Sondrio gave up 0.1 percent after announcing Monday the launch of a cash repurchase offer of its fixed-rate subordinated bond with a total outstanding nominal amount of EUR200.0 million maturing on July 30, 2029. The bank also announced the issuance of a fixed-rate bond called "EUR5.00 billion Euro Medium Term Note Program," intended for institutional investors in Italy and abroad excluding the US.

Piaggio -- in the red by 3.1 percent -- announced Monday that it had posted a net profit of EUR91.1 million in 2023, up 7.3 percent from EUR84.9 million in 2022. This is, the company pointed out, "the best result ever." The board will also propose a dividend balance of 8 cents per share, bringing the total dividend to 20.5 cents per share, up from 18.5 cents a year earlier.

Seco, on the other hand, left 5.1 percent on the parterre after a 1.4 percent green in the previous session.

On the Small-Cap segment, SS Lazio closed by stepping up 5.0 percent with new price at EUR0.7160 per share, just days after the publication of its accounts.

Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi of Bologna advanced 3.6 percent to EUR7.98 per share, after eve's loss of 2.8 percent.

Itway rallied 1.5 percent, closing for the third session in a row on a bullish trend.

doValue ended the session down 6.6 percent, following up on the eve's red closed with minus 4.5 percent. Citadel Advisors raised its short on the stock to 0.80 percent from 0.77 percent previously.

Eems closed down 4.4 percent, heading for the third session to close bearish. The company let it be known on Monday that the share regrouping operation took place. In detail, the regrouping took place in the ratio of one new no par value common share with regular dividend entitlement for every 250 existing no par value common shares with regular dividend entitlement.

Among SMEs, FAE Technology rose 1.9 percent to EUR4.50, but touched a high of EUR5.16 during the day. The company announced Monday that it had finalized an agreement with Ray Ozzie, who takes on the role of Technology Advisor to the group. The U.S. entrepreneur and innovator, formerly chief technical officer and chief software architect at Microsoft from 2005 to 2010 and now founder and CEO of Blues Wireless, will support the group in extending its business model, with a focus on opportunities in the edge computing and artificial intelligence markets.

Doxee, on the other hand, advanced 5.2 percent, rebounding after a seven-session downtrend.

Imprendiroma, among the negative notes, closed down 7.9 percent, following a 4.6 percent green on eve.

Eprcomunication gave up 4.6 percent, in its fifth bearish session.

In New York, the Dow closed down 1.0 percent, the Nasdaq gave up 1.7 percent, and the S&P 500 closed down 1.0 percent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed fractionally in the red, the Hang Seng is in the green by 1.6%, while the Shanghai Composite marks a 0.3% red.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0861 against USD1.0865 recorded at last night's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2710 from USD1.2722 on Tuesday night.

Brent crude is worth USD82.32 per barrel versus USD82.66 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,129.77 an ounce from USD2,124.15 an ounce last night.

On Wednesday's macroeconomic calendar, coming from 0930 CET onwards are the various construction PMIs for Italy, Germany, France, and the Eurozone, while the same indicator will come for the UK at 1030 CET.

At 1100 CET, again from the Eurozone, the retail sales report is due.

From the U.S., at 1300 CET will come the report on the mortgage market while at 1415 CET will be the turn of the U.S. data on nonfarm ccupation.

At 1600 CET, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's hearing in the US Congress will begin, followed half an hour later by the crude oil stocks figure, the EIA report and the Cushing inventory report.

Among companies in the Piazza Affari, results from Banca Mediolanum, BPER Bank, Carel Industries, Nexi, Pirelli, Porto Aviation, Salvatore Ferragamo and Telecom Italia are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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