(Alliance News) - Major European stock exchanges close the day mixed on Wednesday, with Milan and London beating a retreat while Paris remains afloat and Frankfurt closes higher. Investors, meanwhile, await euro area and U.S. inflation data for further indications on the monetary policy trajectory of the major central banks.

As a result, the FTSE Mib fell 0.3 percent to 32,617.96, the Mid-Cap closed in the red 0.2 percent to 45,716.16, the Small-Cap gave up 0.7 percent to 28,029.45, and the Italy Growth gave up 0.2 percent to 8,242.39.

Paris' CAC 40 closed just above par, Frankfurt's DAX 40 finished in the green by 0.3 percent while London's FTSE 100 gave up 0.8 percent.

"Risk sentiment took another, albeit slight, beating as Country Garden, the struggling Chinese real estate giant, faces a liquidation filing in Hong Kong, commented Axel Rudolph, senior market analyst at online trading platform IG.

"The downward revision of U.S. fourth quarter GDP growth also did not help the bulls ahead of the Fed's preferred PCE inflation indicator on Thursday. Weaker-than-expected Eurozone economic sentiment also dragged stocks lower, except for Germany's DAX 40 index, which hit another record high thanks to an influx of investors. The latest earnings season showed that European stocks remain undervalued relative to U.S. stocks in terms of PE ratio, which is why investors continue to prefer investments in Europe's largest economy."

On the Mib, Leonardo - in the green by 0.7 percent - and Bristow Group, a global leader in providing innovative and sustainable vertical flight services, announced Wednesday that they have signed a framework agreement with firm orders for 10 AW189 helicopters and options for an additional 10 units.

Stellantis--up 0.5 percent--reported Wednesday that it has started the EUR3 billion buyback program announced two weeks ago with an initial tranche of EUR1 billion.

UniCredit advances 0.8 percent after announcing Tuesday that it has issued a EUR1.25 billion, 10-year senior preferred bond aimed at institutional investors.

The book building process drew very strong demand of more than EUR4.35 billion from more than 240 investors globally.

Campari gives up 3.4 percent. It reported Tuesday that it ended 2023 with net sales of EUR2.91 billion, up 8.2% from EUR2.69 billion as of Dec. 31, 2022, while net income was EUR332.5 million from EUR331.5 million.

The proposed annual dividend is EUR0.065 per share, up 8.3% on 2022 when it was EUR0.060 per share.

At the top is Ferrari, up 1.4 percent followed by Prysmian, in the green by 1.3 percent.

On the Mid-Cap, Italmobiliare ends up 1.3 percent after announcing that it will sell its 32 percent stake in AGN Energia, realizing EUR100 million from the sale.

De' Longhi - in the green by 0.4% reported that it has finalized the business combination between its subsidiary Eversys and La Marzocco International.

The deal creates a leading hub in the premium segment of the coffee sector with aggreated 2023 sales of EUR370 million and of which De' Longhi will hold 61.6 percent. The 26.5 percent will be held by De' Longhi Industrial and the remainder by minority shareholders of La Marzocco.

On the Small-Cap, Edison -- in the green by 1.3 percent -- and Snam -- in the red by 1.3 percent -- announced the start of exclusive negotiations for the purchase and sale of 100 percent of Edison Storage.

The exclusivity follows the competitive process launched last October by Edison to enhance the subsidiary's value, the company explained in a note.

IGD ends in the red by 5.9 percent. The company disclosed Tuesday that it had ended 2023 with a net loss of EUR81.73 million, specifying that it was discounting higher fair value changes and financial charges. For the full year, recurring net income was EUR55.4 million, down more than 17 percent from 2022.

In any case, the company pointed out that the result is higher than the guidance communicated to the market last November, which forecast a year-end FFO of around EUR53 million.

Among SMEs, Maps closed down 0.7 percent after announcing Wednesday that it had received a renewal from the Teramo ASL for the continued use of SISWEB, the suite of products designed to support hospital reception processes and patient care pathways. The agreement includes maintenance of the suite and the provision of support and training services for staff, thus ensuring comprehensive support and improved operational efficiency.

Xenia Hotellerie Solution closed in the green by 0.8 percent. The company announced the acquisition of the hotel company Hotel Principe di Piemonte Cuneo.

The deal will strengthen the Phi Hotels line of business.

MeglioQuesto -- in the red by 10 percent -- reported Wednesday that it ended 2023 with an expected value of production between EUR87 million and EUR89 million, up from EUR79.3 million in 2022.

Ebitda is expected to be between EUR2 million and EUR3.5 million compared to EUR11.8 million a year earlier

SolidWorld Group - in the red by 2.4 percent - reported Wednesday that it has won a EUR850,000 order from a historic Italian manufacturer of agricultural machinery components.

In New York, the Dow Jones gives up 0.2 percent, the S&P is in the fractional red, and the Nasdaq gives up 0.3 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0837 versus USD1.0856 recorded at Tuesday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2664 from USD1.2694 Tuesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD83.38 per barrel versus USD83.27 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,032.76 an ounce from USD2,034.11 an ounce Tuesday night.

Thursday's calendar features January industrial production and retail sales from Japan at 0050 CET.

At 0600 CET the Bank of Japan's consumer price index is scheduled while at 0800 CET, in the UK, the national house price index will be released.

At 0845 CET German retail sales and French inflation are scheduled. This will be followed 15 minutes later by Swiss GDP and Spanish inflation.

From Germany, the unemployment figure is expected at 0955 CET and, five minutes later, the inflation figure.

From Italy, focus on industrial sales at 1000 CET and the non-EU trade balance.

In the afternoon, from the US will come the personal spending price index and the consumer spending price index at 1430 CET, along with Canada's GDP.

In Piazza Affari, the results of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Leonardo, among others, are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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