(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari closed down Wednesday, with the first financial statements of companies that are deciding the fate of European stock markets.

Chris Beauchamp, Chief Market Analyst at IG, commented, "Barratt Developments slumped on news of the acquisition of rival Redrow and a poorly received update from shares in the successful Sainsbury's supermarkets. Despite the relative cheapness of the FTSE 100 index, it remains firmly unloved and languishes well off its all-time highs, even as its peers in Europe and the U.S. continue to look well positioned for further gains."

The FTSE Mib closed Wednesday down 0.5 percent to 30,976.02, the Mid-Cap lost 0.1 percent to 45,361.79, the Small-Cap gave up 0.7 percent to 27,381.11, and Italy Growth fell 0.9 percent to 8,135.93.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 closed down 0.7 percent, Paris' CAC 40 gave up 0.4 percent and Frankfurt's DAX 40 fell 0.7 percent.

On the main list of Piazza Affari, confirming the strength seen since the bell rang was the Banca Monte dei Paschi stock, which closed up 5.5 percent with a new price at EUR3.56 per share. The Siena-based bank on Wednesday signaled that it has returned to profit in 2023, with results showing a net profit of EUR2.05 billion as of Dec. 31 from a loss of EUR178.4 million in the same period a year earlier.

After the one to profit, the company also announced a return to the dividend, two years ahead of the plan target and forecasting a dividend of EUR0.25 per share for a total of EUR315 million.

Boost also on Stellantis, which trades up 1.1 percent, on the heels of the eve's close up 1.8 percent.

Ferrari rises 1.2% while on the other side is Saipem, in the red by 3.2%. Worth mentioning that on the stock AHL Partners raised its short position to 0.61% from 0.50%.

Profit-taking on Intesa Sanpaolo, down 2.1% after two sessions closed higher and in the aftermath of the presentation of good accounts, closed with net income up 76% to EUR7.72 billion from around EUR4.4 billion in 2022.

On the mid-cap, the good trend undertaken earlier in the session by OVS, up 0.5 percent, continues. The company announced Tuesday that it has signed a letter of intent with Goldenpoint shareholders with the aim of developing a possible industrial partnership. Goldenpoint counts on a sales network of about 380 stores located in prestigious locations in major historical centers and shopping malls in Italy and a turnover of nearly EUR100 million.

Juventus FC also rises, up 2.0%, in its seventh session in a row closed with an uptrend.

Banca Popolare di Sondrio gains 2.3% after reporting a net profit of EUR461.2 million in 2023, up 84% from EUR251.3 million a year earlier. In addition, a dividend of EUR0.56 was proposed, up from EUR0.28 paid last year, with payout revised upward to 55 percent from the 50 percent under the plan.

Among smallcaps, Orsero slumps 15% after announcing targets for 2024. Net revenues are between EUR1.53 billion and EUR1.59 billion, adjusted Ebitda is between EUR77 million and EUR84 million, adjusted net income is between EUR28 million and EUR32 million, and Net financial position is between EUR110 million and EUR105 million.

In 2024, the company plans investments in operating fixed assets between EUR21 million and EUR23 million, including those related to the multi-year sustainability plan.

algoWatt gave up 3.1 percent to EUR0.2635, in its third bearish session. The company announced that Laura Neri, a board member, is the new sole director of subsidiary TerniEnergia Progetti, active as a system integrator and EPC provider in the photovoltaic sector. Neri succeeds Fabrizio Venturi.

Among SMEs, Eprcomunicazione slumps 12 percent to EUR2.14 per share, subject to profit taking after four sessions closed among the bullish.

Same percentage but bullish for Estrima, rising to EUR0.74 per share, with 88,800 changed hands during the day.

In the green, Franchetti gained 3.9 percent to EUR5.38 per share, with the stock hitting a new 52-week high at EUR5.66 per share during the session.

In New York, the Dow rises 0.4 percent to 38,662.43, the Nasdaq is up 0.8 percent to 15,735.40 and the S&P 500 gains 0.7 percent to 4,988.72.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0764 against USD1.0752 recorded in Tuesday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2631 from USD1.2591 on Tuesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD78.89 per barrel versus USD78.78 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,039.06 an ounce from USD2,038.65 an ounce on Tuesday evening.

Thursday's economic calendar features loans to individuals in Japan at 0050 CET, house prices in the UK at 0101 CET, and Chinese inflation at 0230 CET.

In Europe, only the European Central Bank's monthly report is of note while, in the U.S., eyes will be on jobless claims, due at 1430 CET, and the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, due out at 2230 CET.

Throughout the day, several central bank members will speak: Dhingra of the Bank of England, Elderson and Lane of the ECB, and Barkin of the Fed.

Among the companies in Piazza Affari, the results of Banca Generali, Mediolanum, BPM, Credem, Mediobanca, and other lower-capitalization listed companies are expected.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

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