(Alliance News) - On Monday, major European stock markets open close to parity, on a day poor in macroeconomic data and with stock exchanges closed in the US and UK for holidays.

Later in the week, however, Eurozone May inflation data are due, with the "European Central Bank expected to start cutting rates next month," as commented by Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst at Swisswuote Bank.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, opens in the green by 0.1 percent at 34,535.76, the Mid-Cap is in fractional green at 47,716.61, the Small-Cap gives up 0.3 percent to 28,930.05, and Italy Growth advances 0.4 percent to 8,276.20.

In Europe, with the London Stock Exchange closed for holidays, the CAC 40 in Paris is just above par and the DAX 40 in Frankfurt is up 0.2 percent

On the Mib, Leonardo does best of all and gains 1.4 percent after announcing Friday that it has signed a framework agreement with operator PHI Group for 12 AW189 helicopters to support the global energy market starting in 2025.

The agreement, which consists of orders and options, also includes a support partnership, with a service contract, an MRO contract - maintenance, repair and overhaul - and training solutions for the AW139 and AW189 models.

Saipem follows in the green by 1.3 percent after closing Friday in the red by 0.6 percent. Saipem reported Wednesday evening that its subsidiary Saipem Finance International has successfully completed the placement of a new fixed-rate non-convertible and unsubordinated bond for a total amount of EUR500 million maturing in May 2030.

The bonds pay an annual coupon of 4.875 percent and have a 100 percent re-offer price. The issue date is scheduled for May 30, 2024.

Tenaris -- up 0.4 percent -- reported over the weekend that it purchased 5.3 million shares between May 20 and May 24.

The shares were purchased at an average price of EUR15.7460 for a total consideration of EUR83.8 million.

BPER Bank gives up 0.2 percent. On Monday it reported that the rating agency Moody's revised its main ratings upward.

The agency, in particular, revised upward in the Investment Grade area the standalone Baseline Credit Assesment rating from "ba1" to "baa3" and the long-term ratings on senior unsecured debt and the issuer rating both from "Ba1" to "Baa3."

The outlook has been changed to stable from positive.

At the bottom end are Iveco Group and DiaSorin, which give up 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri opens in the green by 2.6 percent, after announcing on Friday that the U.S. Department of Defense awarded the U.S. subsidiary, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, the EUR1.00 billion-plus contract to build the fifth and sixth "Constellation" class frigates for the U.S. Navy.

The contract for the first frigate and option for nine more ships, signed in 2020, has a total value of about EUR5.5 billion and includes after-sales support and crew training.

Maire Tecnimont rises 1.3 percent after it announced Thursday that a consortium comprising subsidiary Tecnimont - Integrated E&C Solutions and Baker Hughes has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract by Sonatrach for the construction of three compressor stations, as well as the upgrading of the gas gathering system, at the Hassi R'mel gas field, 550 kilometers south of Algiers.

The total value of the contract is approximately USD2.3 billion, of which Tecnimont is responsible for USD1.7 billion.

Webuild -- in the green by 1.4 percent -- announced Thursday that its subsidiary CSC Costruzioni has been awarded a contract worth a total of more than EUR302 million for the new railway industrial plant in Ticino, with a 67 percent share of about EUR202 million.

The work, commissioned by Swiss Federal Railways to the Officine Ticinesi OFT Consortium led by CSC Costruzioni, will carry out preparatory work, such as site installation and excavation, and later the construction of the main building, adjoining technical buildings, and work on the exterior spaces.

The work, scheduled to begin in early July 2024, will be completed at the end of 2027, when the new Railway Industrial Plant will go into operation.

Among smallcaps, Newlat Food opens up 8.2 percent after announcing Monday that it has signed an agreement to purchase 100 percent of the share capital of Princes Limited, a historic UK-based food group founded in Liverpool in 1880 and currently owned by Mitsubishi Corporation.

The consideration set on a debt free and cash free basis is GBP700 million, including GBP650 million to be paid in cash and GBP50 million to be paid in Newlat Food shares. With the acquisition of Princes, "Newlat Food will achieve consolidated sales of approximately EUR3 billion and a strong position in new categories in the UK market," the statement said.

Tesmec--down 0.2 percent--reported Friday that Cerved Rating Agency confirmed the 'B1.2' solicited credit rating assigned to the company.

Among SMEs, NVP rises 7.4 percent after announcing Monday, ahead of the new 24-29 Serie A cycle, an agreement with Enilive and DAZN for the editorial integration of Serie A Enilive from Italy's main stadiums in advanced remote production mode and the implementation of innovative technological solutions for the creation of DAZN's first virtual studio in Italy.

Yolo Group--up 1.2 percent--on Friday reported that the boards of directors of subsidiaries Yolo Srl and Bartolozzi Assicurazioni Broker Srl approved the merger plan for the incorporation of wholly owned subsidiary Bartolozzi Assicurazioni Broker Srl into Yolo Srl, also a wholly owned subsidiary.

Mevim gives up 2.2 percent after reporting Friday that its board of directors approved the consolidated financial statements for fiscal year 2023, which closed with a loss of EUR1.9 million, worsening from a loss of EUR1.2 million in 2022.

First Capital still does not trade after closing Friday up 6.6 percent. The company returned to positive net income in 2023 and the board proposed a higher coupon than paid last year.

The company ended 2023 with a net profit of EUR3.4 million, which compares with a loss of EUR9.3 million in the previous year.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 0.7 percent at 38,900.02, the Hang Seng was in the green 1.3 percent at 18,845.32 and the Shanghai Composite finished up 1.1 percent at 3,124.04.

In New York on Friday, the Dow closed in fractional green at 39,069.59, the Nasdaq finished up 1.1 percent at 16,920.80 and the S&P 500 rose 0.7 percent to 5,304.72.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0848 from USD1.0845 on Friday in closing European equities while the pound was worth USD1.2743 from USD1.2736 on Friday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude trades at USD82.32 per barrel from USD81.87 per barrel on Friday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,340.58 an ounce from USD2,339.90 an ounce on Friday night.

Monday's macroeconomic calendar, with the US and UK stock exchanges closed for holidays, opens at 1000 CEST with data on business expectations in Germany and the IFO business confidence index. At 1200 CEST the Eurogroup meeting is scheduled.

At 1430 CEST Canadian wholesale sales are expected.

Among publicly traded companies, results from Antares Vision, Caribbean Company, Cube Labs, e-Novia, Fenix Entertainment, and Rocket Sharing Company are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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