(Alliance News) - On Tuesday, European stock markets are headed for an upward opening as risk appetite improves, even as strong U.S. economic data and aggressive Federal Reserve signals dampened expectations of interest rate cuts for the March meeting.

Asian stock markets-specifically China and Hong Kong-jumped after authorities in the world's second-largest economy took steps to halt a recent bond sell-off, while most Asia-Pacific markets fell.

According to a statement from China's Securities and Regulatory Commission, this would "guide institutional investors to enter the market with greater efforts." This comes at a time when Beijing's apparent lack of targeted stimulus has weighed on market sentiment.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, advances 135.00 points, after closing up 0.8 percent at 30,952.79 last night.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 advances 47.80 points, Paris' CAC 40 advances 44.00 points, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 ranks bullish at 73.00 points.

Among the smaller lists, the Mid-Cap on Monday gave up 0.3 percent to 45,082.06, the Small-Cap closed down 0.7 percent to 27,476.91, and Italy Growth advanced 0.3 percent to 8,275.16.

On the main list of Piazza Affari last night, UniCredit confirmed itself as the best performer as at the opening - closing up 8.1 percent - after sharing in the morning the group's consolidated results as of December 31, with the year ending with a net profit of EUR8.6 billion up more than 50 percent from the previous year. The group closed with a ROTE at 16.6 percent from 10.7 percent in the previous year. In 2023, net book profit reached a record EUR9.5 billion, EUR3.0 billion higher than in 2022.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, up 3.8 percent, and STMicroelectronics, in the green by 2.5 percent, did well.

Other banks also did well, with BPER Banca, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Banca Mediolanum posting gains of between 2.5% and 1.2%.

Among the bullish in the minority, Leonardo closed in the green by 1.6 percent after signing 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.

Stellantis closed down 0.8 percent. Rumors and rumors about the transaction with Renault persisted throughout the weekend, until this morning John Elkann, chairman of Stellantis, tried to deny it: "There are no plans under study regarding merger operations of Stellantis with other manufacturers. The company is focused on the execution of the 'Dare forward' strategic plan and in the timely implementation of the projects announced to strengthen the business in every market where it is present, including Italy."

Renault, on the other hand, has made it known that it does not intend to comment on mere rumors, and this, according to many observers, would be an open door. Thus continue not only the rumors, but also the projections, which obviously start from the shareholding structures.

Snam - in the red by 1.3 percent - let it be known on Monday that it will launch, with the support of Confindustria, from February 7 a market test on the demand for hydrogen in Italy and, in collaboration with Eni, a collection of non-binding expressions of interest for the transport and storage of CO2 at the Ravenna site, as part of the carbon capture and storage project launched in recent months.

At the bottom were Telecom Italia and Tenaris, down 4.3 percent and 3.3 percent.

On the Mid-Cap, Maire Tecnimont - in the red by 1.4 percent - on Monday reported that it was awarded a FEED from MadoquaPower2X for the development of an integrated hydrogen and green ammonia plant in the Sines industrial zone in Portugal.

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore - in the red by 0.9 percent - announced Thursday that its subsidiary Mondadori Libri Spa has finalized the acquisition of 51 percent of the share capital of Star Shop Distribuzione Srl, which operates in the comic book segment with publishing and gadgets and is particularly active in the distribution of third-party publishers in the comic book store channel and in the management of outlets - direct and affiliated - in the same segment.

The price, defined on the basis of an Enterprise Value related to 100% of the company of EUR9 million, is EUR4.6 million.

Credem, Saras and Intercos closed on the podium, with rises of 3.4 percent, 3.0 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

On the Small-Cap, Safilo Group -- down 1.1 percent -- announced Friday that it had signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Spaarkly, a digital-native company specializing in the development of innovative e-commerce solutions through augmented reality technology.

CY4Gate closed down 8.9 percent after announcing Friday that the board of directors reviewed some preliminary figures for 2023, which include orders of EUR73 million up 22 percent from 2022. Revenues increased to EUR65.0 million up 20 percent from the final 2022 figure and in line with the pro-forma full-year 2022 result.

Italian Exhibition Group, up 4.6 percent, and GPI, which gained 3.5 percent, finished at the top.

Geox - down 1.7 percent - released its preliminary consolidated revenues for fiscal 2023 on Thursday, which came in at EUR719.6 million, down 2.2 percent from the previous year, when they were EUR735.5 million, up 0.3 percent at constant exchange rates, affected mainly by the negative performance of the DOS channel - Directly Operated Stores - and only partially offset by the positive performance of the Multibrand channel.

Among SMEs, Jonix closed up 1.7 percent. On Monday it reported that it ended 2023 with revenues of EUR1.4 million compared to EUR4.4 million in the previous year.

Revenues earned abroad amounted to EUR440,000 and 31 percent of the total compared to EUR2.5 million in 2022, which was 58 percent of the total. Italy shows revenues of EUR980,000 compared to EUR1.9 million in 2022.

Franchetti did best of all with a 12 percent rise to EUR4.84 per share.

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 Asian exchanges, the Shanghi Composite is advancing 3.2 percent, the Hang Seng marks plus 4.1 percent, while the Nikkei left 0.5 percent on the parterre.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0760 against USD1.0733 recorded in Monday's European stock close, while the pound is worth USD1.2564 from USD1.2528 on Monday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD78.11 per barrel versus USD77.38 per barrel at Monday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,028.53 an ounce from USD2,021.59 an ounce on Monday evening.

Tuesday's calendar includes at 0930 CET S&P Global's PMI index on the Italian, German, French and Eurozone construction sector.

At 1000 CET, from Italy, coming up is the business and consumer confidence index while at the same time Eurostat will release consumer inflation expectations for the eurozone.

At 1030 CET in the UK the construction purchasing managers' index is due while at 1100 CET from Germany data on registered cars and in the eurozone retail sales will come out.

In the afternoon, building permits will come in from Canada and at 1800 CET car registrations in Italy.

In Piazza Affari, the results of some banks - Intesa Sanpaolo, FinecoBank and Banca Popolare di Sondrio - are expected, along with those of Anima Holding and Medica, among others.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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