(Alliance News) - On Friday, the Mib rose to the 33,700 area, rebounding from the downbeat session on the eve and in line with other European exchanges as investors continue to process and evaluate the European Central Bank's latest monetary policy decision.

Although benchmark interest rates remained unchanged, potential rate cuts were hinted at from Frankfurt if upcoming forecasts indicate a credible decline in inflationary pressures.

On the Federal Reserve front, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink predicted Friday that the Federal Reserve is likely to cut interest rates this year but miss its inflation target.

The number one global asset manager said the central bank is unlikely to reach its 2 percent target anytime soon. However, Fink expects the Fed to make some reductions this year, while having to admit that inflation will remain high.

"When everyone was saying earlier this year that there would be six cuts, by well-known economists, I was saying maybe two," Fink said during an interview with CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "I keep saying maybe two."

Thus, the FTSE Mib closed in the green 0.2 percent to 33,764, the Mid-Cap gave up 0.3 percent to 46,845.22, the Small-Cap is giving up 1.3 percent to 28,089.32 while Italy Growth is down 0.5 percent to 8,095.55.

Paris' CAC 40 closed in the red by 0.3 percent as did Frankfurt's DAX 40 up 0.9 percent while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.9 percent.

On the Mib, Amplifon rallied 3.4 percent, rebounding after three bearish sessions.

Good buying also on Saipem, which is up 3.9% to EUR2.41 per share. Of note, on the stock JPMorgan on Thursday raised its target price to EUR3.20 from EUR3.00 with 'overweight' title.

UniCredit - in the green by 0.2% - reported Thursday that it has received authorization from the European Central Bank to execute the remaining part of its share buyback program for 2023 for up to EUR3.09 billion.

ERG rose 2.0 percent. The company reported that rating agency Fitch Ratings confirmed a long term issuer default rating of 'BBB-', with a Stable outlook, and a senior unsecured rating of 'BBB-'. Fitch pointed out that in an energy scenario characterized by increasing volatility, the rating reflects the soundness of the group's business model and portfolio.

Among the bearish, Interpump steps back 5.6 percent to EUR41.94, following up on a 0.2 percent decline in the eve.

Stellantis gives up 3.3% after announcing an additional EUR100 million investment to increase the potential of the Fiat 500e electric car. It also announced the start of annual production of 600,000 units of electrified dual-clutch transmissions at the eTransmissions assembly joint venture.

The company formed by the merger of FCA and PSA explained that this is the next step in a EUR240 million investment that contributes to the creation of the Mirafiori 2030 Automotive Park. Mirafiori will be one of Stellantis' three main global hubs for operations encompassing the entire automotive cycle, from design to recycling.

On the Mid-Cap, Danieli took home 3.8 percent to EUR34.35, upgrading during the session to a 52-week high at EUR34.95.

Also among the bullish performers was Maire Tecnimont, which closed up 2.1 percent, after 4.4 percent in the red on the eve of the session.

Fincantieri rallied 1.3 percent after reporting that it has received an order to build four new next-generation cruise ships from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. In detail, two ships will be for the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand and two for Oceania Cruises. The former are expected to be delivered in 2026 and the latter in 2029.

At the tail end, OVS left 3.9 percent on the parterre, after a 1.3 percent gain on the eve that broke a five-session downtrend.

Digital Value gave up 2.8%, closing for the fourth session in a row among the bearish.

Among smallcaps, Gas Plus gave up 4.1 percent despite excellent accounts. On Thursday it reported that the board approved its consolidated financial statements for 2023, which closed with a net profit of EUR42.9 million, up from EUR3.4 million in 2022. The board also proposed an ex-dividend of EUR0.15, up from EUR0.05 a year earlier.

Fidia advanced more than 13 percent. The company reported Wednesday that it closed fiscal year 2023 with a net loss of EUR1.5 million, an improvement from a loss of EUR4.9 million in 2022. Consolidated net revenues were EUR28.6 million, up 17 percent from EUR24.4 million recorded in FY2022. During the meeting, the board approved a revision and update of the 2023-2026 business plan dated Oct. 31. The new plan calls for revenues to grow from EUR28.6 million in 2023 to EUR43.3 million in 2027.

Good purchases also on Restart, which closed up 2.4 percent after 1.6 percent red in the previous session.

Safilo Group -- in the red by 5.0 percent -- and Marc Jacobs announced Wednesday that they have early renewed their multi-year global license agreement for Marc Jacobs eyewear collections through December 2031.

Among SMEs, Lindbergh closed down 1.3 percent. On Thursday, it announced that it had concluded, through its subsidiary SMIT Srla, an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Vergottini Srl, a historic Valtellina-based company operating in the thermo-technical plant engineering sector, with particular reference to the activities of installation, transformation, expansion and maintenance of gas systems, thermal, heating and air conditioning equipment, electrical systems, renewable energy and air treatment and ventilation systems and systems. The transaction, expected to close by April, has a total value of about EUR1.1 million.

Planetel sold 1.0 percent after announcing Wednesday that it had signed a binding agreement aimed at acquiring 100 percent of the share capital of Connetical, a Veneto-based company operating in the integrated data and voice telecommunications sector, for a maximum consideration of EUR2 million, subject to adjustments as per contract, with partners Stefano Pasqualin, Umberto Pasqualin and Daniele Gallina. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April.

EdiliziAcrobatica gave up 1.3 percent after much of the session in surplus. It reported Thursday that the number of contracts signed in the first quarter of 2024 was 7,241 from 4,884 in the same period of 2023, an increase of 48 percent. This result reflects the growth in the number of customers, registering an annual increase of 92 percent.

ABP Nocivelli led the price up 5.3 percent to EUR4.34, after two sessions closes down with an aggregate of 1.0 percent.

In New York on Thursday, the Dow Jones is giving up 0.9 percent, the S&P is giving up 1.0 percent while the Nasdaq is stepping back 1.2 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0636 from USD1.0718 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2440 from USD1.2529 on Thursday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD91.55 per barrel from USD89.85 on Thursday evening and gold trades at USD2,407.76 from USD2,349.20 on Thursday evening.

Monday's macroeconomic calendar includes, at 1000 CET, the Italian industrial production data.

From the U.S., at 1430 CET, the retail sales data will be coming in, while a three- and six-month Treasury bond auction is scheduled at 1730 CET.

On the corporate calendar, results from Bestbe Holding, BF, Casta Diva, Giglio Group, LU-VE, Svas Biosana, Take Off, and VNE are scheduled.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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