(Alliance News) - On Thursday, major European stock markets are expected to be in positive territory on a morning packed with publications on the macroeconomic front as Italy and the Eurozone await inflation data.

Thus, IG futures give the FTSE Mib in the green by 0.2 percent or up 62.5 points after closing up 1.1 percent at 29,688.45.

Paris' CAC 40 is expected to be in the green by 0.1 percent or up 7.7 points, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is given in the green by 0.2 percent or up 22.4 points, and London's FTSE 100 is expected to be up 13.5 points or up 0.2 percent.

In macroeconomic news, China's factory activity contracted in November for the second month in a row, putting pressure on the government to provide more support to the ailing economy.

The manufacturing purchasing managers' index-a key measure of industrial production-fell to 49.4 points. The figure is down slightly from 49.5 in October and also weaker than the 49.7 forecast by FXStreet.

From Japan, retail sales rose 4.2 percent year-on-year in October, slowing for the second consecutive month after a revised 6.2 percent increase in September.

Industrial production in the country, meanwhile, rose 1.0 percent month-on-month in October, exceeding market forecasts by 0.8 percent and accelerating from the previous month's 0.5 percent growth, according to flash data.

Among Milan's smaller listings, the Mid-Cap rose 0.4 percent to 41,898.94, the Small-Cap gained 0.6 percent to 26,155.67, and the Italy Growth closed up 0.1 percent to 7,898.47.

On the main list of Piazza Affari, Stellantis closed bullish with 5.3% at EUR19.71, a new 52-week high.

Also on a positive note was Banca Monte dei Paschi, which rose 3.9%. On MPS stock, it is reported that Marshall Wace cut its short position to 0.74% from 0.83%.

Good buys also on STMicroelectronics, which closed with a bullish candle of 2.9%, on the heels of eve's gain, albeit a modest 0.5%.

On a negative note, Campari left 2.4% at EUR9.93 on the parterre. JPMorgan downgraded the stock to 'underweight' from 'neutral' and cut target price to EUR8.30 from the previous EUR11.00.

Leonardo, on the other hand, left 0.3 percent on the parterre. Of note, the company announced Tuesday that it has received a new order from Omni Helicopters International - OHI - for three units, comprising two AW189s, powered by General Electric engines, and one AW189, with Safran engines.

On the Mid-Cap, OVS closed bullish by 6.6%, bringing the price to EUR1.97 and thus closing for the fourth session in a row with a bullish candle.

Digital Value rallied 3.9 percent, on its third bullish trend close.

Lottomatica Group - down 1.3 percent - announced that it has completed the pricing of a total amount of EUR500 million of its senior secured floating-rate bonds maturing in 2030 at an issue price of 99.5 percent, with a coupon equal to the sum of the three-month Euribor rate - subject to a floor of 0 percent - plus 4.00 percent per annum. The offering is scheduled to close on December 14.

Maire Tecnimont - in the red by 1.8 percent - on Tuesday said it had arranged for full early redemption of the bond to 2024, resulting in the delisting of the related bonds from the markets organized and managed by Borsa Italiana and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The redemption price of EUR165.3 million corresponds to 100 percent of the nominal amount of the bond, together with interest accrued since the last coupon payment date.

Sales, among others, also on Buzzi, which gave up 2.1 percent, in its sixth session on the bearish side.

On the small-cap side, Seri Industrial brought home a 6.6 percent gain after an eve's gain of 2.0 percent.

Netweek, on the other hand, advanced 2.7%, pricing itself at EUR0.1514 and closing for the third session on the bearish side.

Gefran gained 1.2%, with the company proceeding steadily with its buyback program. Most recently, it disclosed that it purchased its own ordinary shares - between Nov. 20 and Nov. 24 - for a total value of about EUR81,000.

KME Group - in the red by 1.6 percent - announced on Tuesday that its subsidiary KME had finalized the closing of the agreement signed on November 9 with the pool of lending institutions with an increase in the amount of the lines by an additional EUR50 million and thus for a total amount up to EUR460 million. At the same time the closing of the outstanding factoring lines for EUR376.5 million was also completed.

Olidata fell 3.5 percent. The company signed a deal with Snam worth EUR25 million. The deal provides for Olidata's support-through its subsidiary Sferanet-for most of the Data Center, Data Management and Security, and Network Security components, and Snam's option to purchase according to its own plans.

Among SMBs, Energy closed bullish by more than 13 percent, on its third session in surplus.

Destination Italia - up more than 10 percent - reported Tuesday that the group exceeded EUR6.5 million in terms of its order book referring to tourist bookings of departures that will take place in the year 2024, marking an increase of more than 70 percent compared to the same period in the year 2022.

Circle - up 1.6 percent to EUR6.50 per share - announced Monday evening the approval by FILSE on behalf of Regione Liguria of the "TULIP" project, an acronym for Terminal and mUltimodal Logistic Innovations for the Port and hinterland environment. The 18-month project awards Circle a grant of about EUR220,000 and will have a positive impact on several logistics sectors, starting with port terminals and inland nodes.

Clabo, on the other hand, left over 10 percent on the parterre, subject to profit taking after four bullish sessions.

In Asia, the Nikkei gained 0.5 percent to 33,486.89, the Hang Seng was in the green by 0.3 percent to 17,047.52, as was the Shanghai Composite at 3,029.67.

In New York on Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed fractionally in the green at 35,430.42, the S&P finished down 0.1 percent at 4,550.58, and the Nasdaq closed 0.2 percent in the red at 14258.49.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0973 against USD1.0965 recorded in Wednesday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2699 from USD1.2674 on Wednesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD83.09 per barrel versus USD82.38 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,047.10 an ounce from USD2,041.00 an ounce on Wednesday evening.

Thursday's macroeconomic calendar includes from Germany, at 0955 CET, the release of the unemployment rate, followed five minutes later by the Italian figure. Also from Italy, at 1100 CET, focus on the inflation figure. At the same time, the Eurozone inflation rate and Gross Domestic Product will also be released.

From the U.S., at 1430 CET coming up on Continuing Unemployment Claims and the PCE Price Index.

At 1730 CET, on the other hand, four- and eight-week Treasury bond auctions are scheduled.

On the corporate calendar, Zucchi's results are expected.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

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