In the first-quarter of 2014 the Italy 40 was up from 19,080 on 2 January and closed out March at 21,691, an increase of over 14%. This improvement has not been solely confined to the first-quarter of the year as the MIB is now up by more than 36% year-on-year. From the lows that the index posted in July 2012, it is now up by 77%. This shows that traders have been willing to believe the fundamentals of these Italian equities are being undervalued.
Yesterday saw two pieces of interesting Italian economic data released. First we saw the manufacturing purchasing managers index figures slightly exceed expectations and showing growth for the ninth month in a row. At the same time, Italian unemployment hit 13% even though EU unemployment levels have begun to fall back to 11.9%.
At the moment the index looks a little overbought, and might look to fill the gap from the 28 March towards the 21,530 level. Of course, Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting and comments from Mario Draghi could make that all redundant.