(Alliance News) - European stock markets continued with bullish trend on Monday after stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data and another interview by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell further dented sentiment on interest rate cuts.

Powell said in an interview aired Sunday that the U.S. central bank is likely to move at a considerably slower pace on rate cuts than the market expected.

On Monday, in the CME Group platform FedWatch Tool, using futures also based on the actual federal funds rate or EFFR, the rate confirmation in the March 20 meeting has an 84 percent probability for the 525/550 bps range confirmation.

The 25 bps drop in the 500/525 bps target is thus priced at 16%, down from 20% on Friday night.


Thus, the FTSE Mib is advancing 1.0% to 31,033.25.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is advancing 0.4 percent, Paris' CAC 40 is advancing fractionally, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is advancing 0.1 percent.

Among the smaller lists, the Mid-Cap is rising 0.1 percent to 45,261.18, the Small-Cap is tied at 27,671.10, and Italy Growth is posting a 0.1 percent green at 8,265.93.

Among stocks, a good session is confirmed for banks, which have occupied the top of the list since the bell rang.

Towering over all is UniCredit, which advances more than 10 percent in double digits. The board of directors on Monday released consolidated group 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.

Intesa Sanpaolo, meanwhile, is advancing 2.8 percent, on the eve of the release of results and after three sessions closed among the bearish.

Also advancing well is BPER Banca, which is ahead 4.3%, on the heels of Friday's 2.0% gain.

On a negative note, Tenaris, however, is giving up 1.4% to EUR14.80, after three sessions closed with a bullish candle.

Rear-ends also for Saipem, which is stepping back 1.4 percent after 1.7 percent red on eve, bringing the price down to EUR1.29 per share.

Sales also on Stellantis, which depreciates 1.3% to EUR20.98 per share after four sessions ended among the bearish.

On the Mid-Cap, Intercos is stepping up 1.3 percent to EUR13.82 per share, rearing its head after three bearish sessions.

Credito Emiliano, meanwhile, is advancing 2.2 percent, in its second bullish session after Friday's slight gain of 0.1 percent.

Maire Tecnimont -- in the money with a plus 0.7 percent -- on Monday disclosed 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.

MadoquaPower2x is a consortium consisting of Madoqua Renewables, Power2X and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners through its Energy Transition Fund. The project will produce green hydrogen using the combined technology of alkaline electrolyzer hydrolysis and green ammonia production through the Haber-Bosch process, the company explained in a note.

Danieli & C, meanwhile, is giving up 3.9 percent, in its fourth bearish session with price at EUR29.40 per share.

Juventus FC, on the other hand, is giving up 1.2 percent to EUR30.25 per share, in the red after four bullish sessions and following its defeat in the top challenge to Inter on Sunday.

On the Small-Cap, good session for Beewize, which moves ahead 3.3% heading for its third bullish session.

It does even better Italian Exhibition Group, which moves ahead 4.8 percent to EUR4.79 per share on its third bullish session.

Safilo Group - down 0.8 percent - announced Friday that it has signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Spaarkly, a digitally native company specializing in the development of innovative e-commerce solutions through augmented reality technology.

CY4 Gate, on the other hand, is divesting 7.4 percent. The company reported Friday that its board of directors reviewed some preliminary figures for 2023, which include orders of EUR73 million up 22 percent from 2022. Revenues move to EUR65.0 million up 20% from the final 2022 figure and in line with the pro-forma full-year 2022 result.

Softlab, on the other hand, is stepping back 4.1 percent, on its third session with a bullish candle.

Among SMEs, Eprcommunication is advancing 6.1 percent to EUR2.44 per share, after two sessions closed with a loss.

Casta Diva, on the other hand, is advancing 5.7 percent with new price at EUR1.75, after 2.9 percent red on eve.

At the back of the pack, Estrima is stepping back 5.9 percent to EUR0.73 per share, subject to profit taking after Friday night's double-digit rise.

G Rent, on the other hand, is giving up 5.1 percent to EUR0.6550, reversing a four-session bullish trend.

In New York on Friday, the Dow Jones closed in the green by 0.4 percent, the S&P advanced 1.1 percent, and the Nasdaq picked up 1.7 percent.

Among Asian exchanges, the Hang Seng posted a 0.2% red, the Shanghai Composite closed down 1.0%, while the NIkkei picked up 0.5%.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0749 against USD1.0792 recorded in Friday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2592 from USD1.2640 on Friday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD76.82 per barrel versus USD77.30 per barrel at Friday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,024.64 an ounce from USD2,034.71 an ounce Friday night.

On Monday's calendar, from the U.S., coming up at 1545 CET is the tertiary PMI, while a speech by FOMC member Bostic is scheduled at 2000 CET.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News senior reporter

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