(Alliance News) - European stock markets move in a positive trend on Tuesday as the bluechip index in Piazza Affari raises the bar to the 31,000 area, a new high since 2008.

According to data released Tuesday by Eurostat, in December, seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade fell 1.1 percent in the Eurozone and 1.0 percent in the EU, compared with November, when it was 0.3 percent in both areas. The forecast cited by FXStreet was for a1.0% decline in December in the Eurozone.

On the domestic front, the first month of 2024 showed the fourth month-over-month increase in Italian construction activity, which was supported by another increase in new orders, which in turn was often linked to new contracts associated with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. However, the January survey observed a loss of vigor in the sector's expansion.

In detail, the survey conducted by Hamburg Commercial Bank and published by S&P Global on Tuesday showed that the PMI index for the construction sector in Italy stood at 51.6 in January, from its highest value in twenty months of 55.2 in December.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, advanced 0.2 percent to 31,025.67 points, pointing decisively to the third session to close higher.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is advancing 0.4 percent, Paris' CAC 40 is in the green by 0.1 percent, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is giving up 0.1 percent.

Among the smaller lists, the Mid-Cap is just above par at 45,085.47, the Small-Cap is fractionally advancing at 27,490.25, and Italy Growth is in the red by 0.4 percent at 8,239.08.

On the main list in Piazza Affari, Leonardo is pushing well, posting a plus 3.2 percent with new price at EUR16.75 per share. Of note, the company announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Military Industry. "The MoU covers broad areas in which Leonardo has well-established technological expertise, including space, helicopters, sensors and electronics, air combat, multi-domain integration, remotely piloted systems, digital technologies, services and industrialization processes," according to the press note.

Good buys also on Pirelli, which appreciates 2.6 percent to EUR5.08 per share, following a 1.6 percent decline in the previous session.

Azimut moves ahead 1.4 percent to EUR26.18 per share after falling 0.6 percent on the eve.

UniCredit--up 0.8 percent--following record accounts for 2023, announced Tuesday that it had purchased 4.2 million of its own shares between January 29 and February 2. The shares were taken over at an average price of EUR26.6711 for a total value of EUR113.2 million.

Among the few bearish performers is a 5.6 percent decline in Interpump, which follows two sessions of rises and places the price in the EUR44.93 area.

ERG, on the other hand, gives up 2.2 percent. The company announced Monday that it bought back 310,000 of its own ordinary shares between January 29 and February 2, for a total value of EUR8.4 million.

On the Mid-Cap, Juventus FC is doing better than all, marking a plus 3.6 percent, heading for the sixth session to close with a bullish candle.

Technoprobe, on the other hand, advances 2.5 percent, on its third bullish session.

Ariston Holding, on the other hand, advances 0.3 percent, following eve's 3.7 percent decline.

On the negative note, the list's minority, MFE is giving up 1.5 percent with class B shares and 1.9 percent with class A shares.

Alerion Clean Power -- which is continuing with its buyback program -- reported Monday that it bought back its own ordinary shares between Jan. 22 and Jan. 26 for a total value of EUR212,032.50. The stock currently fluctuates down 2.6 percent.

On the Small-Cap, high quarters for Softlab, which brings the bar up 5.9 percent with new price at EUR1.61 after two sessions closed with bearish candle.

Risanamento -- up 4.2 percent -- reported Monday that it closed 2023 with a net profit of EUR10.6 million, which compares with a loss of EUR53.9 million in the previous year. Revenues rose to EUR595.6 million from EUR370 million while production value rose to EUR57.1 million from EUR2.5 million.

At the tail end, Autostrade Meridionali is giving up 5.4 percent, heading for the fifth session in a row to close on a bearish trend.

Rear-ends also for Bastogi, which marks a minus 3.7 percent with the price at a new 52-week low at EUR0.46.

Among SMEs, H-Farm advances 4.6 percent, with price at EUR0.1150, rebounding after four sessions with bearish candle.

Elsa Solution, on the other hand, marks a plus 7.1%, doing better than all and bringing the price to EUR4.82 per share, with the stock rebounding after four sessions closed in the red.

eVISO--up 1.7 percent--reported data provided by the Integrated Information System--a public body that manages information flows related to the electricity and gas markets--regarding the annual consumption volumes of the electricity user base in the direct channel combined with eVISO in February.

Thus, annual consumption volumes related to direct customers paired with eVISO as of February amounted to 382 GWh and equivalent to an annual turnover of more than EUR90 million, up 19 percent from the figures reported in December 2023, when they stood at 320 GWh.

Racing Force - in the red with 9.9 percent - on Tuesday reported that it ended fiscal 2023 with consolidated revenues of EUR62.6 million, up 6.4 percent from EUR58.9 million in fiscal 2022. In the fourth quarter, consolidated revenues stood at EUR12.8 million, down slightly from EUR13.4 million in the same period last year.

Back ache for Doxee, which gave up 6.7 percent after eve's gain, albeit a tepid 0.5 percent.

In New York on Monday, the Dow Jones gave up 0.7 percent, the S&P closed down 0.3 percent, and the Nasdaq left 0.2 percent on the parterre.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0730 against USD1.0733 recorded in Monday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2541 from USD1.2528 on Monday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD78.16 per barrel versus USD77.38 per barrel at Monday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,023.67 an ounce from USD2,021.59 an ounce on Monday evening.

Tuesday's calendar includes building permits from Canada in the afternoon and car registrations in Italy at 1800 CET.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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