(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari continued upward in the third session of the week, with the bluechip index settling in the 33,700 area Wednesday, mirroring the positive momentum seen across European markets to rebound from yesterday's losses, as investors seemed to ignore Powell's hawkish comments.

Futures point to an opening that tends -- albeit modestly -- downward on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said yesterday that the U.S. economy, while strong, has not seen inflation return to the central bank's target, indicating the further unlikelihood of interest rate cuts anytime soon.

Speaking at a policy forum focused on U.S.-Canadian economic relations, Powell said that inflation, while continuing to fall, has not moved fast enough and that the current state of monetary policy should remain intact.

"The latest data show solid growth and continued strength in the labor market, but also a lack of further progress this year in returning to our 2 percent inflation target," the Fed chief said during a panel speech.

Echoing recent statements by central bank officials, Powell indicated that the current level of policy will likely remain in place until inflation approaches the target.

Financial markets have had to revise their expectations for rate cuts this year. In early 2024, fed funds futures market participants expected six or seven cuts this year, starting in March. As the data progressed, expectations shifted to one or two cuts, assuming movements of a quarter percentage point, and not starting until September. In March, FOMC officials indicated they expected three cuts this year. However, in recent days several policymakers have emphasized the data-dependent nature of policy and have not committed to setting a level of reductions.

As a result, the FTSE Mib advances 1.0 percent green to 33,740.73, while the put/call volume ratio expresses a value of 2.64.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is advancing 0.5 percent, Paris' CAC 40 is in the green by 1.1 percent, while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is picking up 0.6 percent.

Among the smaller lists, the Mid-Cap is advancing 0.6 percent to 46,568.26, the Small-Cap is in the green 0.5 percent to 27,876.54, and Italy Growth is advancing 0.3 percent to 8,026.45.

On the Mib, the head of the list is for Banca Popolare di Sondrio, which moves ahead 3.2 percent after eve's red of 2.4 percent.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena -- in the green by 2.2 percent -- announced that it has completed the placement of a EUR750 million covered bond issue with a 5-year maturity. As the company explains, this is the first European covered bond issue carried out by the bank after the transposition of the European harmonization directive on covered bonds. In detail, orders exceeded EUR2.3 billion with coupon at the 3.5 percent level and at a re-offer price of 99.919 percent.

DiaSorin advances well, moving ahead 3.6 percent after a 0.2 percent decline on eve.

Campari, on the other hand, advances 2.0% to EUR9.12 on the heels of the previous two bullish daily candles.

Banco BPM saw its target price increased by Deutsche Bank to EUR6.50 from EUR6.10. The stock opened trading up 1.9 percent at EUR6.24.

Among the few bearish performers, Recordati is marking minus 0.7 percent, following a 1.3 percent red on the eve of trading.

Leonardo is giving up 0.6 percent, the subject of profit-taking after a bullish five-way rally.

On the Mid-Cap, SAES Getters is marking plus 5.2%, after 1.4% red on eve. Worth mentioning is that last week the compnay let it be known that the board of directors authorized to proceed with the signing of a binding Share Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of 100 percent of the share capital of FMB Feinwerk- und Meßtechnik GmbH, now owned by majority shareholder Uwe Schneck, minority shareholders Ingmar Lehmann and Jens Rekow, and Mardi Beteiligungs GmbH & Co.

d'Amico instead advances 2.1 percent to EUR6.35, turning upward after two bearish sessions. The company announced Wednesday that its operating subsidiary d'Amico Tankers, has entered into a construction contract with Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, China, for the purchase of two new 'Long Range' tankers at a contract price of USD55.4 million each. The company expects these two new ships to be delivered in September and November 2027, respectively.

ENAV - in marginal green - announced on Wednesday that it has been awarded a contract worth EUR720,000 with Fiji Airports for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the CRONOS platform and the Aeronautical Message Handling System (AMHS), two advanced tools for aeronautical information management and exchange.

At the back of the pack, Alerion confirms the bearish trend with which it opened the session, giving up 1.4 percent after the eve's gain closed with a plus 1.6 percent.

Technoprobe, on the other hand, marks a minus 1.3 percent, after the 0.1 percent red on the eve.

On the Small-Cap, Seri Industrial is advancing in double digits over 10%, after three sessions closed with bearish candle.

Eems, on the other hand, is giving up 2.9%, after 0.4% green in the previous session.

In the rear KME Group is stepping back 2.6 percent, to EUR0.9860 per share, after eve's gain of 0.8 percent.

Alkemy, on the other hand, marks a minus 1.8 percent to EUR10.90.The stock on the MarketScreener platform, on the average of two analysts, is priced with a fair value at EUR16.00, thus being underpriced by about 44 percent.

Among SMEs, Confinvest scores a plus 12% at EUR2.28 before going into the volatility auction, in the binary, pending re-admission, for the fifth consecutive bullish session.

H-Farm, on the other hand, advances 2.9 percent, bringing the price to EUR0.1585.

On the backside, Impianti is marking minus 5.1 percent at EUR0.23, a new 52-week low.

Culti Milano, on the other hand, is marking minus 3.3%, reversing course after two bullish sessions.

In New York last night, the Dow closed up 0.2%, the Nasdaq gave up 0.1%, and the S&P 500 closed down 0.2%.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands to USD1.0645 from USD1.0634 in Tuesday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2470 from USD1.2448 Tuesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD89.15 a barrel from USD89.83 Tuesday night and gold trades at USD2,391.38 from USD2,368.01 last night.

On Wednesday's macroeconomic calendar from the U.S. will come data on the mortgage market, at 1300 CEST, before numbers on crude oil stocks, due at 1630 CEST. At 2000 CEST, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book will be released.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News senior reporter

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