(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari closed Friday's session just shy of parity, with banks still driving Milan's main list.

Axel Rudolph, Senior Market Analyst at IG, said, "After a week of record highs for equity indices in Europe and the U.S., with the Dow Jones Industrials Average briefly touching the 40,000 mark, profit-taking amid Fed comments pointing to a possible 'rates scenario for a longer period' led to losses Friday as bond yields and the greenback recovered from the lows of the past four to six weeks."

"The rise in the German 10-year bond yield brought it back above the 2.50 percent level while the DAX 40 gave up more than a percentage point from Thursday's record high. However, the FTSE 100 remained within 0.5 percent of this week's record high."

The FTSE Mib closed Friday flat at 35,398.82, the Mid-Cap lost 0.1 percent to 48,348.74, the Small-Cap gave up 0.1 percent to 29,476.17 and Italy Growth rose 0.3 percent to 8,245.52.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 closed down 0.1 percent, Paris' CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent and Frankfurt's DAX 40 gave up 0.1 percent.

Among the smaller listings, the Mid-Cap is down 0.2 percent to 48,302.91, the Small-Cap is down 0.1 percent to 29,465.48, while Italy Growth is in the green 0.3 percent to 8,251.81.

On the Mib, Saipem rose 2.8% to EUR2.2740 per share, confirming its strength since the bell rang. The company announced Thursday that it has been awarded a new offshore contract by Azule Energy Angola to develop the Ndungu Field project, as part of the Agogo Integrated West Hub project, located about 180 kilometers off the coast of Angola. The value of the contract is approximately USD850 million.

Banca Monte dei Paschi did well, rising 2.8 percent, with the Siena-based bank posting a 73 percent gain since the beginning of the year.

Also among the best was Banco BPM, up 2.9 percent to EUR6.72. During the previous session, it updated the high for 2024 with price stroked to EUR6.57, while it rescored the 52-week high at EUR6.66 in the current session.

At the tail end, Interpump lost 2.5 percent. The stock - which on the weekly shows a 7.7 percent gain - on Wednesday approved its interim report as of March 31, closing the period with a net profit of EUR67.6 million compared to EUR86.0 million in the first quarter of 2023, a decrease of about 22 percent.

Worse than all did ERG, which closed down 3.8 percent.

On the Mid-Cap, Intercos did well, up 2.6 percent and in its fourth session in a row closed among the bullish.

El.En. gained 0.1%, with price at EUR10.02. The company's board approved the interim report as of March 31, with a positive pre-tax profit of EUR14.4 million, registering a 13 percent decrease from EUR16.6 million as of March 31, 2023.

For Moltiply Group, on the other hand, the gain was 2.6 percent. The company announced Thursday that its Mavriq Division has signed binding agreements to acquire a leading online comparison and brokerage operator in the Netherlands. The agreed entreprise value for 100 percent of Pricewise's shares is EUR25.0 million, and the purchase will be financed through cash and/or use of already available credit lines.

Industrie de Nora gained 1.1 percent, reversing course after eve's decline of 2.0 percent.

On the Small-Cap, Netweek lost 3.5%, with new price at EUR0.0504. The company announced Thursday that it had signed a contract to acquire 100 percent of Telecity 2, a company into which the television and publishing activities of the Telecity group, a leader in Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, and Valle d'Aosta, had been contributed. The price paid for 100 percent of Telecity 2 is EUR6 million and includes--among others--the television activities of the four regional broadcasters, the Assago office and about 40 employees.

Alkemy lost 0.8 percent after two sessions closed among the bearish due to the first three-month accounts released a few days ago. The company closed with a profit of EUR200,000 down 63 percent from EUR700,000 in the same period of 2023.

Eurotech--down 3.6 percent after two sessions in which it lost more than 16 percent--reported Wednesday evening that it made a first quarter loss of EUR4.2 million from a profit of EUR100,000 in the first quarter of 2023.

Caleffi gave up 2.9%. The company reported that a buyback plan already approved by shareholders this week will be launched today. The purpose of the plan is to purchase a maximum of EUR200,000 of its own ordinary shares.

Among SMEs, strength on iVision tech, up 3.2 percent after going into a volatility auction. The company reported that its board of directors approved the issuance of two bonds with a total countervalue of EUR7.0 million.

SG Co--up 1.9 percent--reported Friday that the value of the group's contracted order book as of April 30 was approximately EUR19.3 million, up 87 percent from the figure for the same period a year earlier, when it was EUR10.3 million. The figure is equivalent to 65 percent of the group's consolidated turnover as of Dec. 31, 2023, at EUR29.5 million.

The tail end of the list is ESI, down 4.7 percent, and Impianti, down 4.1 percent and the victim of profit-taking after the stock, in the past seven days, gained 70 percent while, in the past month, doubling its capitalization.

In New York, the Dow is up 0.1 percent to 39,900.83, the Nasdaq is down slightly to 16,697.77 and the S&P 500 rises slightly to 5,297.74.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0874 from USD1.0870 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2701 from USD1.2669 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD83.26 per barrel from USD83.17 per barrel Thursday night. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,406.48 an ounce from USD2,372.24 an ounce on Thursday night.

Monday's macroeconomic calendar opens with the People's Bank of China's preferred rate announcement at 0315 CEST, ahead of Germany's producer prices, due at 0800 CEST. Two hours later, room for the Spanish trade balance.

Iberian consumer confidence will remain known at 1200 CEST, the same time as the release of Chinese foreign direct investment data. No relevant macros are expected from the U.S. in the pmoernoon, where instead three- and six-month T-Note auctions will be held at 1730 CEST.

Among the companies in Piazza Affari, the results of Assicurazioni Generali and Bestbe Holding are expected.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

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