(Alliance News) - European stock markets are set for an upward opening Thursday as investors await key inflation reports from major economies.

In this regard, the U.S. PCE price index -- the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation indicator for January -- will be closely scrutinized by trading rooms looking for clues on the path of U.S. interest rates.

On the corporate front, before the bell rang, Poste Italiane, Lottomatica and Prysmian released their accounts - in marked improvement.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, after closing down 0.3 percent at 32,617.96 last night, scores a green of 58.00 points.

Paris' CAC 40 is up 16.20 points, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is up 19.80 points, and London's FTSE 100 is up 17.00 points.

The Mid-Cap last night closed 0.2 percent in the red at 45,716.16, the Small-Cap gave up 0.7 percent to 28,029.45, and Italy Growth gave up 0.2 percent to 8,242.39.

On the Mib on Wednesday evening, 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 had 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 advanced 0.8 percent after announcing Tuesday that it had issued a EUR1.25 billion senior preferred bond with a 10-year maturity to institutional investors.

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

Campari gave 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.

Ferrari closed at the top, up 1.4 percent followed by Prysmian, in the green by 1.3 percent.

On the Mid-Cap, Italmobiliare finished 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 ended 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--on European overnight--the Dow Jones gave up 0.1 percent, the S&P 0.2 percent, and the Nasdaq left 0.6 percent on the sidelines.

Among Asian marketplaces, the Nikkei gave up 0.1 percent, the Hang Seng left 0.5 percent on the parterre, while the Shanghai Composite posted a 0.3 percent red.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0834 against USD1.0837 recorded at Wednesday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2662 from USD1.2664 last night.

Brent crude is worth USD81.98 per barrel versus USD83.38 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,036.58 an ounce from USD2,032.76 an ounce Wednesday night.

Thursday's calendar includes from Germany, at 0955 CET, the unemployment figure and, five minutes in, the inflation figure.

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

In the afternoon, from the U.S. 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 Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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