(Alliance News) - Europe's major stock markets closed Friday's session lower at the end of an important week for the release of macroeconomic data in the Eurozone--where the Central Bank made its first rate cut--and in the US.

''The much stronger-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls data, the increase in hourly payrolls and the unemployment rate dampened rate cut expectations and initially pushed equity indices lower, before recovering lost ground ahead of the weekend,'' comments Axel Rudolph, Senior Market Analyst at online trading platform IG.

Expectations for a Fed rate cut in September, therefore, "fell from 65 percent to around 55 percent, with the U.S. dollar appreciating sharply amid the rally in U.S. yields," the analyst concludes.

The Mib, therefore, closed down 0.5 percent to 34,660.38, the Mid-Cap finished 0.1 percent in the red to 48,056.50, the Small-Cap finished 0.3 percent in the red to 29,394.28 while Italy Growth closed fractionally in the red to 8,201.53.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 finished 0.5 percent in the red as did Paris' CAC 40 and Frankfurt's DAX 40.

On the Mib, Leonardo took the top spot with a 1.8 percent rise.

Banco BPM finished up 0.3 percent. The company announced Thursday that it had finalized a EUR10 million financing transaction, backed by SACE's Green Guarantee, for Pastificio Liguori, a historic dry pasta manufacturer founded in 1795 in Gragnano, Naples.

Azimut Holding closed 1.4 percent in the red. The company reported Thursday that it posted inflows of EUR6.9 billion in May. The May figure brings the cumulative since the beginning of the year to EUR9.0 billion, exceeding the full-year 2024 target of EUR7 billion. The May figure includes EUR6.1 billion from the previously announced acquisition of tru Independence, a Portland, Oregon-based advisory services provider with total assets of USD12.5 billion by Sanctuary Wealth, in which Azimut Group holds a 53.4 percent stake.

On the cadet segment, boost on Intercos Group, which brings the price up 3.0% to EUR15.88 per share.

Saras -- in the green by 0.7 percent -- on Thursday evening reported that Vitol had received clearance from the European Commission for the merger to acquire a controlling stake in the share capital of Saras. The transaction was disclosed to the market last February.

Anima Holding -- in the red by 0.3 percent -- reported Thursday that it had negative asset management inflows of EUR206 million in May. Excluding class I insurance proxies, inflows were positive EUR215 million while year to end was negative EUR384 million. Total assets under management at the end of May exceed EUR196.9 billion.

On the Small-Cap side, Tessellis finished on top with a rise of more than 13 percent, followed by Compagnia Immobiliare Azionaria, up 8.5 percent.

Edison closed up 1.0 percent. The company reported that the S&P Global Ratings agency changed the outlook from Stable to Positive and confirmed the 'BBB/A-2' rating.

The action on the rating reflects the corresponding change in EDF SA's outlook to 'BBB/Positive/A-2' from 'BBB/Stable/A-2' and Edison's strong ongoing operational and financial performance.

doValue moves ahead 2.7 percent. The company on Thursday evening announced that it had signed a binding agreement to acquire 100 percent of Gardant's share capital for EUR230 million in cash, including EUR50 million related to the refinancing of net financial debt, plus the issuance of new shares, at a premium to current market value, corresponding to a 20 percent stake in doValue to Gardant shareholders.

Among SMEs, Caribbean Company gave up 1.3 percent. The company reported that the board has proposed the issuance of a convertible bond reserved for various parties.

Old Customs Warehouse, owner of, among others, the Jefferson, Roger, Bergamot, and Fantastico brands, and by Spanish-registered Destillers United Group SL, owner of, among others, the Canaïma Gin and Saroche Cocuy brands, have committed to underwrite the POC, each in the amount of EUR1.5 million.

The convertible bond will be submitted for approval at the company's extraordinary shareholders' meeting, scheduled for June 28, for a total amount of EUR3.0 million.

AATech closed up 15 percent, followed by Siav with 13 percent and Comal with 6.8 percent.

In New York, the Dow is in the green by 0.2 percent, the Nasdaq gives up 0.1 percent, and the S&P 500 is in fractional green.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0806 from USD1.0882 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2723 from USD1.2781 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD79.98 per barrel from USD79.70 per barrel at Thursday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,313.00 an ounce from USD2,373.98 last night.

On Monday's macroeconomic calendar, the Chinese and Hong Kong stock exchanges will be closed for holidays.

From Japan, seasonally adjusted GDP and current account will come out at 0150 CEST.

At 1000 CEST, Italian industrial production is expected, and a US Treasury bond auction will take place at 1600 CEST.

In Piazza Affari, results from Illa and Piquadro are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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