(Alliance News) - Mid-session Monday, European stock markets continued to move in the bullish area following the release of manufacturing PMI data.

The euro area's manufacturing PMI rose to 47.3 points in May from 45.7 points in April, improving but remaining below the 50.0-point mark that separates contraction from expansion in activity.

In Italy, on the other hand, the HCOB PMI Index fell to 45.6 points from 47.3 in April, thus remaining in contraction below 50.0 points and showing the fastest deterioration in the health of the Italian manufacturing sector in five months. FXStreet's forecast indicated an improvement in the figure to 48.0 points.

Thus, the FTSE Mib is in the green by 0.7 percent to 34,742.09, the Mid-Cap gains 0.4 percent to 47,890.58, the Small-Cap rises gives up 0.1 percent to 29,429.60 while Italy Growth gives up 0.1 percent to 8,186.53.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is in the green by 0.2 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 rises 0.7 percent and Paris' CAC 40 is in the green by 0.3 percent.

On the Mib, Telecom Italia advances 4.3% followed by Leonardo and STMicroelectronics, in the green by 3.2% and 2.2% respectively.

Poste Italiane advances 2.0% after announcing Friday that from Monday, June 3, it will launch a new buyback plan involving 3.5 million treasury shares for a maximum outlay of EUR56 million.

UniCredit is in the green by 1.9% after announcing Monday that it will exercise its early redemption option for two bonds issued in 2019.

In detail, the bank will prepay the EUR1.25 billion fixed-rate bond due in June 2025 and the EUR750.0 million bond due in July 2025.

Both redemptions will take place at par, with the first to be executed on June 25 this year and the second to take place on July 3.

BPER Bank -- in the green by 1.1 percent -- on Thursday announced the early closure to Dec. 31, 2024 of the 2022-2025 business plan in light of the early achievement of key economic and financial targets. Thus, the board of directors mandated the CEO to prepare a new 2024-2027 plan.

In the cadet segment, Banca Ifis - in the red by 0.3 percent - announced that Katia Mariotti, current head of the NPL department, has completed the three-year business plan of the same department, and will undertake a new professional position at AMCO - Asset Management Company as of August 3.

Cembre, Brembo and OVS occupy the podium, with rises between 3.4 percent and 2.8 percent.

On the Small-Cap segment, Sogefi rises 3.1 percent after announcing Friday that it has finalized the sale of its Filtration division to U.S. investment fund Pacific Avenue Capital Partners.

The cash consideration received by Sogefi, in line with the February 23 announcement, was EUR331.2 million, determined based on an enterprise value of EUR374 million and adjustments that take into account estimated net working capital and net financial position as of May 31, 2024.

Softlab's board of directors -- in the red by 3.8 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 the year 2022.

Retex announced Monday that it has launched a tender offer for shares in Alkemy, which gains 21 percent.

The offer is EUR12.00 for all 5.7 million ordinary shares of the company and is aimed at delisting Alkemy. Duccio Vitali, Alkemy's managing director, will join the offer with his 625,616 shares, representing 11 percent of Alkemy's share capital.

The value offered by Alkemy represents a premium of 21 percent over the closing on Friday, May 31, and 16 percent over the average of the last 12 months, 9.7 percent over the average of the last six months, and 22 percent over the average of the last quarter.

Cellularline gives up 1.5 percent. The company announced Friday that Worldconnect AG's minority shareholders, Samuel Gerber and CAE Invest AG, have each exercised their put option to sell 10 percent of Worldconnect's share capital to Cellularline.

Cellularline thus comes to hold a 90% controlling stake in Worldconnect.

Among SMEs, IMD International Medical Devices advances 3.5 percent. The company announced Friday that it has signed an agreement to acquire a 30 percent stake in General Medical Italia LTD with its partner UK Medical Imaging Ltd.

The total price for the purchase of 30 percent was set at EUR300,000, to be paid in cash in full on the closing date.

Gentili Mosconi cedes 1.0 percent and reported Friday that revenues in the first quarter were EUR11.6 million, compared to EUR13 million in the same period of FY2023.

"The decline in revenues of approximately 11 percent is mainly attributable to the performance of the apparel fabrics business line, which, also in the first months of the fiscal year, was impacted by the continued slowdown in the luxury market," the note said.

Pattern rises 2.1 percent after announcing Thursday that it has signed a binding investment agreement to purchase, through its 80 percent subsidiary SMT Srl, 100 percent of Umbria Verde Mattioli Srl, an Umbrian company specializing in the production, processing and marketing of luxury knitwear.

The agreed price is EUR20.0 million and will be paid by SMT to the sellers in several tranches.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed in the green 1.1 percent to 38,923.03, the Hang Seng gained 1.8 percent to 18,403.04, and the Shanghai Composite closed in the red 0.3 percent to 3,078.49.

In New York on Friday, the Dow closed up 1.5 percent to 38,686.32, the Nasdaq finished fractionally in the red at 16,735.02 while the S&P 500 closed in the green 0.8 percent to 5,277.51.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0840 from USD1.0845 on Friday in European equities closing while the pound was worth USD1.2708 from USD1.2724 on Friday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude trades at USD81.31 per barrel from USD81.66 per barrel on Friday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,325.76 an ounce from USD2,329.79 an ounce on Friday evening.

Monday afternoon's macroeconomic calendar features the US manufacturing PMI at 1600 CEST.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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