(Alliance News) - On Thursday, major European stock markets close the day in the green on the eve of the release of some important macroeconomic data. Among others, Eurozone inflation is expected tomorrow morning while U.S. inflation is due in the afternoon and will give further indications on the Fed's next monetary policy moves.

Thus, the FTSE Mib closes up 0.9 percent at 34,447.57.

Among the smaller listings, the Mid-Cap closed in the green 1.1 percent to 47,787.74, the Small-Cap rose 1.6 percent to 29,410.10 while Italy Growth closed fractionally in the red at 8,212.80.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 finished up 0.6 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 rose 0.2 percent and Paris' CAC 40 closed up 0.5 percent.

"European equity indices managed to stabilize and end the day in slightly positive territory, despite Eurozone economic sentiment rising less than expected ahead of next week's expected ECB rate cut, while their U.S. counterparts continue to slide amid fears that rates will remain higher for longer," comments Axel Rudolph, Senior Market Analyst at online trading platform IG.

"PCE inflation in the U.S. on Friday should help the Fed in making monetary policy decisions, especially after Thursday's downward revision to first-quarter GDP growth due to the unexpected decline in first-quarter corporate earnings, while initial jobless claims rose slightly more than expected," the analyst concludes.

On the Mib, ERG closed on top with 6.9 percent, after occupying the top spot since the bell rang by advancing 4.5 percent with price at EUR25.32 and rearing its head again after two sessions closed down.

It is followed by BPER Banca, which gained 2.9% after eve's 2.0% decline.

Banco BPM - up 2.7 percent - rounds out the podium. The company on Thursday announced its intention to exercise the early redemption option of the "Euro 300,000,000 8.750% Additional Tier 1 Notes" instrument. This instrument, issued but June 2019 and placed with institutional investors, now has a remaining amount of EUR300.0 million, of which EUR223.3 million is repurchased by the issuer in November 2023.

Banca Popolare di Sondrio -- in the green by 1.3 percent -- announced Tuesday that it has placed a EUR500 million, six-year senior preferred green bond with an early redemption option on June 4, 2029. The transaction, made under the EUR5 billion Euro Medium Term Notes program, aims to finance and refinance green projects that comply with the Green Bond Framework and follows similar ones in July 2021 and September 2023.

Telecom Italia--in the red by 1.6 percent--reported Wednesday that its board of directors approved additional periodic financial information as of March 31, reporting first quarter group revenues of EUR3.93 billion, up from EUR3.84 billion in the same period of 2023. First-quarter net income attributable to owners of the parent reported a loss of EUR400 million, an improvement from a loss of EUR689.0 million in the first quarter of 2023, and discounted the negative effect of net nonrecurring charges of EUR93 million from EUR427 million in the first quarter of 2023.

"Fears that TIM's debt, now nearly 15 times Ebitda, is unsustainable even after the network divestment, triggers a new wave of selling on the stock in the stock market. And the top two shareholders, namely Vivendi and the Italian government, are watching with some concern the stock burn all the recovery of the past two mes," comments Francesco Bonazzi of Alliance News.

Pirelli ended at the bottom, down 4.5 percent, after two sessions closed in the green. Tenaris was also bad, down 2.4 percent.

On the cadet segment, Webuild -- in the black with 0.7 percent -- reported Thursday that it had won a new contract in France to build the Grand Paris Express, the new metro in the Île de France region that is currently the most important and innovative sustainable mobility project in Europe. Société des grands projets has awarded Webuild, in a joint venture with French partner NGE, the contract worth a total of EUR1.38 billion, of which Webuild's share is 45.5 percent, for the construction of Lot 2 of the West Section of Line 15 of the Grand Paris Express.

The board of directors of Tamburi Investment Partners -- in the red by 0.2% -- on Wednesday evening approved the issuance of a non-convertible, unrated, non-subordinated and unsecured bond in the nominal amount of EUR250 million; the company is allowed to increase the nominal amount of the bond up to a further maximum of EUR100 million, thus up to a total nominal amount of EUR350 million.

On the Small-Cap, illimity Bank closed up 9.3 percent after starting a share buyback program today-expiring on April 8, 2025.

The April 24 shareholders' meeting had approved the purchase, also in several tranches, of illimity shares up to a maximum number of 1.0 million for an amount not exceeding EUR5.5 million.

Fidia closed at a breakeven. The board approved a new budget for the year ending Dec. 31, 2023, closing with a consolidated net income of negative EUR1.47 million, compared to negative EUR4.9 million in fiscal 2022. Net revenues were EUR28.6 million compared to EUR24.4 million in FY 2022.

Softlab's board of directors - in the red by 0.7 percent - approved the draft consolidated financial statements as of Dec. 31, 2023, closing with a loss of EUR400,000 compared to a profit of EUR3.2 million in FY 2022. Revenues earned in FY 2023 were EUR24 million, a slight increase from EUR23.7 million in FY 2022.

Among SMEs, Energy gave up 0.6 percent. The company reported that it has signed a preliminary agreement to purchase a 90 percent stake in Enermore, a Sterzing-based company held by a German holding company, Natural Resources Holding.

Mare Engineering Group -- in the red by 13 percent -- reported Wednesday that it had reported a net profit of EUR2.4 million as of Dec. 31 from EUR3.7 million in 2022. Value of production amounted to EUR39.4 million in 2023 from EUR35.3 million as of Dec. 31, 2022.

Sicily by Car closed up 2.5 percent after announcing Wednesday the formation of Barcelona-based Sicily by Car Spain.

Sicily by Car Spain has a share capital of EUR100,000 and is wholly owned by Sicily by Car.

In New York, the Dow gives up 1.0%, the Nasdaq is down 0.6%, and the S&P 500 is in the red by 0.5%.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0844 from USD1.0815 in Wednesday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2745 from USD1.2708 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude trades at USD83.14 per barrel from USD83.62 per barrel on Wednesday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,344.44 an ounce from USD2,340.30 an ounce on Wednesday evening.

Friday's macroeconomic calendar opens at 0130 CEST with Japan's inflation, industrial production and unemployment rate.

At 0150 CEST, retail sales, also from Japan, are scheduled instead.

At 0330 CEST from China will come the composite and manufacturing PMIs while at 0800 CEST in the UK the national house price index is scheduled.

At the same time, the import price index and retail sales are expected in Germany.

At 0845 CEST it is the turn of French inflation while in Italy at 1000 CEST GDP is expected and at 1100 CEST inflation.

That of the Eurozone will come instead at 1100 CEST and, an hour later, it will be the turn of Italian industrial sales.

From the U.S., at 1430 CEST will come out the PCE data and the core personal spending price index while from Canada, at the same time, GDP is expected.

In Piazza Affari, Gentili Mosconi's quarterly results and H-Farm's half-yearly report are expected.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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