(Alliance News) - European stock markets followed the ringing of the bell on Thursday with an 'upward opening, as investors position themselves for a year-end rally. Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates in 2024 continued to push equities higher.

In contrast, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England in recent meetings have maintained their stance that higher rates need to be maintained for a longer period, although markets seem to believe in a cut during the year.

The FTSE Mib, thus, marks a 0.2 percent rise to 30,480.28.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is in the green by 0.3 percent, while Paris' CAC 40 is up 0.2 percent as is Frankfurt's DAX 40.

The Mid-Cap is up 0.2 percent to 44,832.31, the Small-Cap is up 0.3 percent to 28,301.43 while Italy Growth is up 0.1 percent to 8,166.37.

On Milan's highest-capitalization list, Moncler advances 0.8 percent with new price at EUR56.34 per share after two sessions in the red.

Pirelli, meanwhile, marks a plus 0.7 percent, in its third bullish session.

Inwit -- in the money with 0.1 percent -- reported Wednesday that between Dec. 18 and Dec. 22 it bought 133,256 ordinary shares at an average price of EUR11.2567 per share, for a total value of EUR1.5 million. As of today, the company holds 12.6 million treasury shares or about 1.3 percent of its share capital.

ERG--which marks a plus 0.3 percent--reported Wednesday that it purchased 285,707 of its own ordinary shares between Dec. 18 and Dec. 22. The shares were taken over at an average price per share of EUR28.0133, for a total value of EUR8.0 million.

On the MidCap, Technoprobe is bullish with 1.7 percent to EUR8.84 per share, in its third bullish session.

Seco, equally among the outriders, is advancing instead with 1.0 percent, after 1.5 percent green on the eve.

Technogym--up 0.4 percent--reported Wednesday that it purchased 133,000 of its own ordinary shares between Dec. 18 and 22. The shares were taken over at an average unit price of EUR9.01, for a total consideration of EUR1.2 million.

Among the few bearish, Caltagirone is closing 2.1 percent down after a 3.4 percent green on the eve.

On the SmallCap, Seri Industrial is advancing 4.9 percent to EUR3.67 per share after 7.9 percent green on eve.

Beghelli also moves well, carrying the bar up 3.1% with new price at EUR0.2695.

Netweek, in the rear, is giving up 8.4 percent to EUR0.1140 after eve's green with 3.8 percent.

Among SMEs, Cyberoo is advancing well, leading the way with 4.4 percent. As disclosed by the company in a note Thursday, after the opening of an office in Poland, "there are already three new partnerships signed and destined to lead the way in replicating also on this territory the business model and the Go to Market strategy successfully tested in Italy. Partnerships that have already started to give the first results with the signing of an important contract with a Polish client."

"The applied model resulting from past experiences confirms the goodness of the strategy. The new partner companies are CC Otwarte Systemy Komputerowe Sp. z o.o, Integrity Partners Sp. z o. o. and Prosystem SA," Cyberoo writes.

Convergences advances 2.9 percent to EUR1.42, positioning the snout toward its third session on the bullish side.

At the tail end, in a still uneventful list, H-Farm is giving up 3.9 percent with price at EUR0.1710.

In New York, on European night, the Dow closed in the green by 0.3 percent, while the Nasdaq up 0.2 percent as did the S&P 500.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.1107 against USD1.1113 recorded in Wednesday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2803 from USD1.2794 on Wednesday night.

Brent crude is worth USD79.09 per barrel versus USD79.91 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,078.28 an ounce from USD2,080.75 an ounce on Wednesday evening.

Thursday's macroeconomic calendar includes, from the US, at 1430 CET, unemployment claims and the trade balance. At 1700 CET it will be the turn of crude oil stocks, Cushing's invenario and the EIA report.

At 1730 CET an auction of 4- and 8-week Treasury bonds is scheduled, and at 1900 CET a 7-year Treasury bond auction is coming up.

No special announcements are expected among companies.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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