(Alliance News) – Futures on Thursday point to a bearish opening for European stock markets, with only Frankfurt gravitating just above the parity line in the wake of the bearish close recorded overnight on Wall Street.

In addition, Asian stock markets moved with mixed direction, with a weak overnight session on Wall Street weighing on sentiment as U.S. economic data fueled recession fears, while investors continued to assess the outlook for tightening monetary policy.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said rates are not yet totally “restrictive” and could rise as high as 5.5 percent by the end of the year.

“We’re almost in a zone that we could call restrictive-we’re not there yet,” Bullard said Wednesday in an online interview with the Wall Street Journal. Officials want to ensure that inflation falls on a steady path toward the 2 percent target. “We don’t want to waver on that,” the banker said.

“Policy needs to remain tighter through 2023” as the disinflationary process unfolds, Bullard added.

The FTSE Mib, thus, gives up 77.50 points after closing in the green by 0.3 percent at 26,052.39 the night before.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 is giving up 37.00 points, Paris’ CAC 40 is backtracking 32.50 points, and Frankfurt’s DAX 40 is in the green by 3.00 points.

Among the smaller lists Wednesday evening, the Mid-Cap closed up 1.1 percent to 42,901.55, the Small-Cap rose 0.6 percent to 29,687.74, and Italy Growth picked up 0.2 percent to 9,581.13.

On the main list in Piazza Affari on Wednesday evening, oil stocks led the way, with Tenaris and Saipem up 4.2 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. Oil prices posted strong gains Wednesday on the back of hopes of an economic recovery in China, one of the world’s largest energy consumers, and showing traders’ good mood about the improved global economic outlook.

The affairs of the Agnelli family also held sway. Juventus Football Club shareholders appointed new members to the company’s board of directors, the club announced Wednesday after Andrea Agnelli also resigned from the boards of Exor and Stellantis.

Fioranna Vittoria Negri, Maurizio Scanavino, Gianluca Ferrero, Diego Pistone and Laura Cappiello join the board. Negri and Cappiello are independent directors. The board of directors meeting after the shareholders’ meeting then appointed Gianluca Ferrero as chairman of the board and Maurizio Scanavino as chief executive officer.

Just among the Agnelli Galaxy stocks Ferrari closed in the green by 0.6, CNH Industrial up 0.7 percent, Iveco gaining 1.7 percent and Stellantis in the red by 0.7 percent.

On the latter, recall that car sales in December ran counter to the performance of the European market, in which registrations grew about 13 percent. As data from ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, showed Tuesday, the merged giant of PSA Groupe and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted a 10 percent drop in sales in December, having registered 159,425 cars compared to 177,712 in December 2021, with market share falling to about 15 percent from about 19 percent.

Azimut Holding — in the black by 0.2 percent — said Wednesday that based on preliminary results and early forecasts, it expects to close fiscal year 2022 with a net profit of between EUR395 million and EUR405 million, in line with the target provided to the market of at least EUR400 million under normal market conditions, despite the difficult environment throughout the year.

Total net inflows for 2022 amount to EUR8.5 billion, exceeding the upper limit of the guidance set at the beginning of the year of EUR6-8 billion.

On the Mid-Cap, good buying on Webuild, which rallied 8.1 percent. Mirabella Financial Services initiated a short position on the stock at 0.68 percent.

Tinexta was down 0.5 percent. The company announced Wednesday the signing of a binding agreement to acquire a 65 percent stake in Ascertia through its subsidiary InfoCert.

The transaction involved the purchase of 65 percent of Ascertia’s capital for a consideration of EUR18.3 million plus Net Financial Position, corresponding to an enterprise value of the company of EUR28.2 million.

OVS sold 0.1 percent. The company presented an investment project concerning the creation of a technological innovation hub and a multifunctional center with a view to sustainability and circular economy.

On the Small-Cap, regarding the tender offer launched by Nova for its own shares, DeA Capital announced Monday that Morrow Sodali will act as Global Information Agent in order to provide information regarding the offer to all holders of DeA Capital’s ordinary shares. The company’s stock closes flat at EUR1.48 per share.

algoWatt gave up 1.8 percent after announcing Monday that it has obtained a EUR275,000 financing for activities as a digital energy solution provider and system integrator under the Thumbs Up project “Thermal energy storage solUtions to optimally Manage BuildingS and Unlock their grid balancing and flexibility Potential.”

Among SMEs, Fope closed unchanged at EUR30.00 per share after reporting that 2022 revenues rose 54 percent year-on-year to EUR62.2 million from EUR40.3 million a year earlier.

The figure marks even greater growth when compared with that of the last fiscal year before the arrival of Covid-19, 2019, recording a 78 percent improvement in revenues from EUR35.5 million.

Gibus gave up 3.0 percent despite the board of directors’ approval of its consolidated operating results as of Dec. 31, 2022, reporting revenues of EUR84.0 million, up about 16 percent from EUR72.7 million in the same period last year.

Alfonsino, on the other hand, rose more than 28 percent. The company reported Tuesday that it posted revenues of EUR4.6 million in 2022, up 17 percent from EUR3.9 million a year earlier. Orders, on the other hand, rose 20 percent year-on-year to 550,000.

Among Asian exchanges, the Hang Seng is giving up 0.2 percent, the Shanghai Composite is rising with 0.4 percent, while the Nikkei closed down 1.4 percent.

In New York on European night, the Dow closed down 1.8 percent, the Nasdaq down 1.2 percent, and the S&P 500 gave up 1.6 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0797 versus USD1.0817 at Wednesday’s close. In contrast, the pound is worth USD1.2331 from USD1.2362 on Wednesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD84.14 per barrel from USD87.14 per barrel on Wednesday evening. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD1,908.82 an ounce from USD1,913.85 an ounce last session.

On Thursday’s economic calendar, the Spanish trade balance is due at 1000 CET, while Eurozone current account and seasonally adjusted current account data are released at the same time.

Again, in the UK, at 1030 CET, comes the BoE’s credit conduction survey and labor productivity data.

At 1130 CET, ECB President Lagarde is scheduled to speak, while two hours later the European Central Bank publishes the minutes of the meeting concerning monetary policy decisions.

Overseas, at 1430 CET, data on continuing unemployment claims, data on building permits and the opening of new construction sites are expected.

Between 1630 CET and 1700 CET, data on natural gas storage, crude oil stocks and crude oil imports arrive.

Among companies listed on the Stock Exchange, no special events are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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