(Alliance News) - European financial markets continued higher on Wednesday -- with the Mib in the 34,000 area -- as traders awaited US inflation in the afternoon and the Federal Reserve's decision. The U.S. central bank is expected to keep interest rates steady, but traders will watch updates to economic projections for clues on the path of rates.

Disappointing inflation data since the last projection update in March will almost certainly prompt a scaling back of the number of rate cuts planned for this year. But the May consumer price index reading will likely help determine how many reductions will be taken off the central bank's dot plot showing the projected path for rates.

Thus, the Mib is picking up 0.6 percent at 34,079.21 points, the Mid-Cap is advancing above par at 47,282.39, the Small-Cap is in fractional red at 28,931.62, while Italy Growth is in the green by 0.1 percent at 8,116.39.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 advances 0.6 percent, Paris' CAC 40 advances 0.2 percent, while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is in the green by 0.3 percent.

On the Mib, leading the way is the banking sector, which is positioned in the upper quarters. BPER Bank is advancing 1.7 percent, rearing its head again after two bearish sessions. Of note, Capital Fund Management raised its short on the stock to 0.50 percent from 0.47 percent previously.

Also doing well among the many banks in the green is Banca Popolare di Sondrio, which is up 1.8% after three bearish sessions.

Good buys also on Unipol,which scores a plus 2.3%, breaking a three-session bearish mini-trend.

Eni--green by 0.5 percent--on Wednesday announced the successful completion of the placement of a 10 percent stake in the share capital of Saipem--which is giving up 0.6 percent--at EUR1.970 per share, for a total consideration of about EUR393 million. As a result of the placement, which took place through an accelerated bookbuilding process aimed at institutional investors, Eni holds just under 423 million shares in Saipem, representing about 21.19 percent of the share capital. Of these, 12.50 percent of the share capital contributed to the shareholders' agreement with CDP Equity Spa.

Stellantis, on the other hand, is giving up 1.2 percent, following up eve's loss with 0.9 percent.

Iveco, on the other hand, is down 1.2%, with the stock having rallied more than 40% since the start of 2024.

On the Mid-Cap, Banca Ifis moves ahead 1.3 percent, turning positive after two bearish sessions.

For Intercos, on the other hand, the gain is 1.0%, after Tuesday's 3.7% loss that broke a four-session bearish streak.

Also doing well is Maire, which is posting a 2.3 percent surplus after eve's 3.9 percent decline.

Fincantieri - down 1.2 percent - announced Tuesday that its board of directors has resolved to exercise the proxy granted by the extraordinary shareholders' meeting regarding a capital increase for a maximum amount of EUR500.0 million.

Italmobiliare, on the other hand, is surrendering 2.9 percent, following Tuesday's 4.6 percent red at the close.

On the Small-Cap, PLC is advancing with 1.3% after two bearish sessions.

For Conafi, on the other hand, assets are up 2.2 percent, on the heels of eve's 2.2 percent gain with assets on the monthly frame marking about 18 percent.

Strength also on Garofalo Healthcare, which is up 1.9% to EUR5.50 per share after 2.5% red on eve.

doValue - up 0.5 percent - reported Tuesday that the Madrid High Court of Justice ruled in its favor, rejecting Altamira Asset Management Holding SL's attempt to overturn an earlier decision requiring it to make a payment to doValue related to a tax claim. As a result of the decision, the doValue group will record financial income of EUR22.7 million, the company's note says, which will have a positive impact on first-half net income of about EUR0.28 per share.

Among the bearish, list minority, Unieuro is giving up 0.3 percent, on its third bearish candle. Worth mentioning, Citadel Advisors raised its short on the stock to 0.50% from 0.49% previously.

Mondo TV - down 1.2% to EUR0.19 - announced Tuesday that it has signed a new licensing and merchandising agreement for MeteoHeroes with Thekom, Soluzioni per Comunicare Srl. The contract will last until June 2026 and will cover ITaly, Canton Ticino, San Marino and the Vatican. In addition, no payment is expected other than royalties on sales, yet to be agreed upon between the two companies.

Among the SMBs, IDNTT is marking a plus 2.6 percent, turning upward after two sessions in contraction.

ATON Green Storage, on the other hand, is advancing 3.0 percent, after two sessions among the bearish.

Clabo - best on the list - is instead advancing 3.3 percent, following up on eve's plus 1.9 percent.

Circle - in the green by 1.5 percent - announced Tuesday evening that the board had resolved to submit a proposal for a paid capital increase of up to EUR4.0 million to the next shareholders' meeting, called for June 27, in an extraordinary session.

Relatech - down 0.5 percent - reported Wednesday that the company's board of directors reviewed its order book as of May 31 and approved the ESG 2023 budget. Group orders at the consolidated level stood at about EUR28 million for the current year's share, down 3 percent from the May 31, 2023 backlog of EUR29 million.

In New York overnight Europe, the Dow gave up 0.3 percent, the Nasdaq picked up 0.8 percent, and the S&P 500 picked up 0.3 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands to USD1.0749 from USD1.0728 yesterday in closing European equities while the pound was worth USD1.2749 from USD1.2723 Tuesday night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD82.84 per barrel from USD82.00 per barrel at Tuesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,314.33 an ounce from USD2,315.27 on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday's macroeconomic calendar, at 1300 CEST from the US will come the mortgage report. At 1430 CEST, on the other hand, again from the U.S., the inflation figure is due. At 1630 CEST, eyes on the crude oil stocks report, the EIA report and the Cushing inventory.

At 2000 CEST, focus on the announcement of the FOMC interest rate decision, with Powell's press conference expected at 2030 CEST.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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