(Alliance News) - Major European stock markets close mixed on Thursday as optimism plummets after worse-than-expected data on U.S. growth and the shadow of possible stagflation.

Thus, the FTSE Mib closed 1.0 percent in the red at 33,939.75, the Mid-Cap gave up 0.5 percent to 46,395.65, the Small-Cap lost 0.5 percent to 28,284.08, and Italy Growth closed up 0.4 percent to 8,132.29.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 ended in the green by 0.5 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 was down 0.9 percent, as was Paris' CAC 40.

In macroeconomic news, the U.S. economy grew 1.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, up from 3.4 percent in the previous quarter and below forecasts of 2.5 percent. The data were released Thursday by the U.S. Bureu of economic analysis.

Growth was driven mainly by increases in consumer spending, residential fixed investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and state and local government spending, partly offset by a decline in private inventory investment.

On the Mib, BPER Bank did better than all, in the green by 1.9 percent. The company announced Tuesday the market launch of its sustainability linked loan, a new financing product designed to offer tangible support to all businesses pursuing predetermined and measurable sustainability goals.

Hera also did well, in the green by 0.8 percent as did ERG. The company's shareholders, meeting Tuesday to approve the financial statements, also appointed board members. Joining the board are Edoardo Garrone, Alessandro Garrone, Giovanni Mondini, Paolo Luigi Merli, Luca Bettonte, Elisabetta Caldera, Federica Lolli, Marina Natale, Elisabetta Oliveri, Renato Pizzolla, Barbara Poggiali, and Daniela Toscani.

The shareholders then confirmed Edoardo Garrone as chairman of the company while the board, meeting after the meeting, chose Alessandro Garrone as vice chairman and director in charge of the internal control and risk management system. Giovanni Mondini was confirmed in the role of vice chairman while the CEO will be Paolo Luigi Merli.

The shareholders' meeting then authorized the board of directors to purchase a maximum of 15.0 million ordinary shares of ERG.

STMicroelectronics--in the green by 1.0%--reported Thursday that revenues and earnings fell double digits in the first quarter and that it expects revenues to decline further in the second quarter.

Revenues for the first three months fell to USD3.47 billion from EUR4.25 billion in Q1 2023, an annual decline of 18%, and from USD4.28 billion in Q4 2023, a quarterly decline of 19%.

Nexi, on the other hand, gave up 3.0%.

On the cadet segment, the shareholders of Credito Emiliano -- in the green by 0.3% -- appointed members of the new board of directors on Wednesday.

Joining the new board are Paola Agnese Bongini, Enrico Corradi, Giorgia Fontanesi, Mariaelena Fontanesi, Elisabetta Gualandri, Luigi Maramotti, Alessandro Merli, Ernestina Morstofolini, Edoardo Prezioso, Anna Chiara Svelto, Giovanni Filippo Emilio Viani and Lucio Igino Zanon di Valgiurata.

Credem's board of directors, which met at the end of the meeting, confirmed Lucio Igino Zanon di Valgiurata as chairman and Enrico Corradi and Luigi Maramotti as vice chairmen.

Webuild -- in the red by 1.0 percent -- reported Wednesday that it had acquired EUR5.5 billion in new orders since the beginning of the year at the end of March.

As the former Salini Impregilo explained, almost all of the new orders came from abroad, in markets such as Canada, the US, and Saudi Arabia. The significant order intake represents about 50 percent of the expected orders for the year 2024.

Added to this is a near-term commercial pipeline of more than EUR70 billion, fueled by the major investment plans launched in key markets monitored by the group, such as Central and Northern Europe, Australia, the U.S. and the Middle East.

The board of directors of Maire Tecnimont -- which finished in the green by 0.8 percent -- on Wednesday reviewed and approved the interim report for the year ended March 31. Net income was net to EUR46.6 million from EUR26.2 billion up 78 percent to 3.7 percent of revenues, up 100 basis points.

Revenues amounted to EUR1.3 billion, up from EUR957.9 billion, "mainly due to the progression of ongoing projects, including the advancement of engineering and procurement activities of the Hail and Ghasha project," spieha the company.

Among the smallcaps, SAES Getters--in the red by 0.3 percent--announced Wednesday that it had proceeded with the signing of a binding Share Purchase Agreement to acquire 100 percentof the share capital of FMB Feinwerk- und Meßtechnik, now owned by majority shareholder Uwe Schneck, minority shareholders Ingmar Lehmann and Jens Rekow, and the company Mardi Beteiligungs.

The agreed purchase price is EUR8 million.

Itway -- in the red by 5.1 percent -- on Wednesday reported that it closed 2023 with a pretax loss of EUR481,000 from one of EUR362,000 as of Dec. 31, 2022, while the net loss was EUR330,000 from one of EUR348,000.

Revenues in the period stood at EUR49.1 million from EUR46.7 million in 2022.

Elica--green by 1.9%--on Wednesday announced that it will start a new buyback plan from April 26 for a maximum number of shares that can be purchased equal to 1 million.

Among SMEs, Poligrafici Printing-which closed in the green by 6.6 percent-announced Wednesday that it closed 2023 with consolidated revenues of EUR24.1 million from EUR28.0 million as of December 31, 2022.

Ebitda stood at EUR4.9 million in 2023 from EUR6.1 million in the previous year.

Consolidated profit for the year was EUR1.5 million from EUR2.4 million in 2022. The company proposed to distribute a dividend of EUR0.03 per share from EUR0.0295 in 2022.

RedFish LongTerm Capital - up 2.9 percent - reported Wednesday that consolidated revenues for the first quarter amounted to EUR9.8 million, up significantly from the same period a year earlier, which reported consolidated revenues of EUR41,200.

Technoprobe -- in the red by 1.3 percent -- on Wednesday announced that it has appointed a delagate director in the person of Stefano Felici and vice-chairman Roberto Alessandro Crippa, who will act as deputy in the absence or disability of chairman Cristiano Alessandro Crippa.

In New York, the Dow is down 1.6 percent to 37,842.17, the Nasdaq gives up 1.8 percent to 15,430.77, and the S&P 500 is down 1.3 percent to 5,006.03.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0717 from USD1.0689 on Wednesday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2491 from USD1.2437 on Wednesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD87.57 a barrel from USD88.27 a barrel Wednesday evening and gold trades at USD2,346.10 an ounce from USD2,322.19 an ounce Wednesday evening.

Friday's macroeconomic calendar opens at 0101 CEST with GfK data on British consumer confidence and continues at 0130 CEST with Japanese inflation data.

At 0845 CEST the French consumer confidence index is expected and at 0900 CEST come Spanish retail sales and the Spanish unemployment rate.

At 1000 CEST from the Eurozone, the M3 money supply and data on lending to individuals are released.

Overseas, at 1430 CEST, it is the turn of the PCE index for the U.S. and the price index for core personal expenditures, while from Canada at the same time wholesale and manufacturing sales are released.

Among the companies listed in Piazza Affari, no particular announcements are expected.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to redazione@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News IS Italian Service Ltd. All rights reserved.