March 16, 2020 / 5:03 AM / 16 days ago

Italy - Factors to watch on March 16

The following factors could affect Italian markets on Monday.

Reuters has not verified the newspaper reports, and cannot vouch for their accuracy. New items are marked with (*).

For a complete list of diary events in Italy please click on .

GENERAL

Italy recorded 368 new deaths from the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday as the total rose to 1,809, the country's civil protection authority said. The number of positive cases rose to 24,747 as Europe's worst outbreak of the deadly virus continued to expand.

POLITICS

Cabinet meets in Rome to approve an emergency decree to help the economy cope with the coronavirus outbreak (0900 GMT).

Italy's government on Saturday reached an accord with employers and unions on tighter hygiene and safety measures to allow companies to keep working while ensuring staff safety during the coronavirus outbreak.

ECONOMY (*) Italy's government is ready to intervene again, if needed, as measures approved so far are not enough to support businesses and households hit by a coronavirus outbreak, the prime minister said on Monday.

Italy's deficit will be at least around 4% of domestic product this year due to the coronavirus crisis, daily Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday. The report added Rome would need at least 50 billion euros of 'flexibility', or extra deficit spending, between this year and 2021.

ISTAT releases February final CPI and HICP data (0900 GMT).

DEBT

The European Central Bank is ready to rein in "unjustified" spreads between euro zone bond yields and even to beef up purchases to combat the fallout from the coronavirus, board member Fabio Panetta said in an interview published on Sunday.

Bank of Italy releases January data on public finances, state borrowing and debt.

COMPANIES

FIAT CHRYSLER (*) The carmaker said on Monday it was halting production through March 27 at the majority of its plants in Europe following a coronavirus crisis which is disrupting the economy. FCA said production for its FCA Italy and Maserati units would stop in the next two weeks at the Italian plants of Melfi, Pomigliano, Cassino, Mirafiori, Grugliasco and Modena. Serbia's Kragujevac facilities and Poland's Tychy plant will also close.

The company said production at its assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, which was halted for 24 hours over fears of an employee being possibly exposed to the coronavirus, had resumed on Friday afternoon.

Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Ford are forming a coronavirus task force along with the U.S. United Auto Workers (UAW) union to tackle challenges related to the virus outbreak, the parties said in a joint statement on Sunday.

FERRARI

The luxury carmaker said on Saturday it closed its two plants until March 27 in a response to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy and an emerging shortage of parts.

ESSILORLUXOTTICA

Eyewear maker Luxottica, now part of EssilorLuxottica, is suspending production and logistics operations in Italy for up to three days to adapt procedures to new government directives for ensuring worker safety during the coronavirus outbreak, the maker of Ray Ban sunglasses said on Sunday.

LEONARDO

The defense group said on Sunday it would suspend activities at all its Italian plants and facilities on Monday and Tuesday to adopt hygiene and safety measures to meet anti coronavirus regulation but added it would guarantee essential operations. The group added further suspensions or reductions of certain operations were planned from March 18 to 25.

ATLANTIA

The group said on Friday that measures taken to combat coronavirus were having an impact on traffic volumes and operating performance at the infrastructures operated by its units. Atlantia said that traffic on toll motorway network run by its Autostrade unit fell 40.5% in the past week versus the same week of last year while passenger traffic at Rome's airports operated by ADR unit fell 70.7%.

FINCANTIERI

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri will temporarily halt operations at all its Italian sites from March 16 to March 29 to help fight the spread of coronavirus, according to a letter to employees seen by Reuters.

TERNA

Fitch on Friday affirmed the power grid operator's credit rating at 'BBB+', with a 'stable' outlook.

STMICROELECTRONICS

Trades ex-dividend of $0.06 per share (quarterly 2018 dividend).

ALITALIA (unlisted)

The Italian government is close to taking full control of Alitalia, as the coronavirus outbreak in Europe was forcing it to abandon plans to find a buyer for the ailing national carrier, daily Il Messaggero said on Sunday.

In a separate report, daily La Repubblica on Sunday said Rome was planning an immediate intervention in favour of the air transport industry worth 500 million euros, followed by other measures worth 3 billion euros, which would help nationalise Alitalia.

For Italian market data and news, click on codes in brackets:

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FTSE IT allshare index

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Stories on Italy...... IT-LEN

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