(Alliance News) - European stock markets open slightly lower on Friday, awaiting inflation data from the U.S. this afternoon, which could provide clues on upcoming central bank decisions and future interest rate trends.

The FTSE Mib opens fractionally in the red at 30,260.990, Mid-Cap rises 0.1 percent to 44,371.55, Small-Cap advances 0.3 percent to 27,865.60, and Italy Growth advances 0.2 percent to 8,109.19.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is down 0.1 percent, the CAC 40 is in the fractional red and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is down 0.1 percent.

On the Mib, Eni opens in the green by 0.6 percent after announcing Thursday that Plenitude has strengthened its commitment to the energy transition through the entry of Energy Infrastructure Partners, a fund specializing in Renewables and Energy Transition, as a minority shareholder.

EIP joins Plenitude by acquiring a stake of up to 9 percent, through subscription to a capital increase, for a total amount of up to EUR700 million, which values Plenitude's post-entry equity at around EUR8 billion. Taking debt into account, Plenitude's Enterprise Value resulting from the transaction is over EUR10 billion.

Also doing well is Tenaris, up 0.6 percent, and Saipem, which advances 0.3 percent. At the top is Telecom Italia, up 1.6 percent.

Assicurazioni Generali -- up 0.1 percent -- on Thursday said it had finalized the sale of Generali Deutschland Pensionskasse AG to Frankfurter Leben following approval by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority and the relevant local competition authorities.

The transaction is in line with the group's "Lifetime Partner 24: Driving Growth" strategic plan to improve the profile and profitability of the life business.

On the Mid-Cap, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore -- up 0.2 percent -- announced Thursday that it had signed an agreement to sell its entire stake in Mediamond Spa, equal to 50 percent of the latter's capital, to Publitalia '80 Spa.

The stake is held by subsidiary Direct Channel Spa, and as a result of the transaction, Publitalia '80 will increase to 100 percent in Mediamond. Mondadori is to receive EUR1.4 million.

Juventus Football Club -- up 1.3 percent -- announced Thursday evening that it had appointed Citigroup and UniCredit Spa as joint global coordinators as part of the capital increase under option up to a maximum of EUR200 million.

In addition, it informed that majority shareholder Exor NV, "as a further demonstration of its long-term commitment to the company and confidence in its intrinsic value," as specified in the statement, has committed to underwrite any newly issued shares that remain unsubscribed at the end of the offering period.

De' Longhi--up 1.7 percent--reported Thursday that the business combination agreement between Eversys and La Marzocco has been signed.

The former is a leading company in the production and distribution of automatic coffee machines while the latter specializes in semi-automatic ones and coffee grinders. The combination will create a globally significant player in the professional coffee machine sector.

On the Small-Cap, Biesse opens up 3.5 percent after signing on Thursday a contract to acquire the entire share capital of GMM Finance Srl, the holding company at the head of the GMM Group, which also includes GMM Spa, Bavelloni Spa and Techni Waterjet Ltd. as well as their respective Italian and foreign subsidiaries, active in the sectors of machine tools for processing stone, glass and other materials.

The provisional consideration for the acquisition, which will be settled in full in cash at closing, amounted to approximately EUR72 million,

IRCE--green by 0.3 percent--reported Thursday that the board has approved the EUR45 million investment project in the Czech Republic.

The investment is aimed at strengthening the group's position in the European winding conductor market, with a focus on the electric vehicle market.

PLC advances 1.7 percent. The company reported Thursday that as of Nov. 30 it had reported a backlog of EUR112 million and a commercial pipeline of EUR127 million. In addition, the company reports development projects of about 130MW of wind technology plants and about 50MW of photovoltaic technology plants under development, with about 160MW of connection solutions already obtained.

Openjobmetis gives up 0.6 percent after gaining more than 25 percent yesterday. The company's board of directors met Thursday to review the communication received from Groupe Crit regarding the signing of Memorandum of Understanding for the direct and indirect purchase of all OJM shares held by Omniafin Spa, MTI Investimenti and Plavisgas.

The purchase of the shares by Groupe Crit would be carried out at a price of EUR6.5 per OJM share and would result in the company holding a total stake of approximately 57.7 percent of OJM's share capital and approximately 53.6 percent of the voting rights.

Based on the number of OJM shares currently outstanding, the consideration implies an equity value of OJM of about EUR203.0 million.

FILA--up 0.1 percent--reported Wednesday that it has successfully completed the listing of its Indian subsidiary DOMS Industries Ltd on the National Stock Exchange of India.

Shares of DOMS were placed at INR790 each, or about EUR8.64 per share, which is the top of the identified share valuation range.

Among SMEs, Maps advances 0.7 percent after announcing Friday that it has been awarded, through its subsidiary Iasi Srl, the implementation and integration activities of the Abruzzo Region's digital health services envisaged by the agreement signed between the Region and the National Strategic Pole, for a total amount of EUR3.6 million

Gismondi 1754 - in the green by 4.0 percent - announced Friday the opening of a new franchise outlet in "The Pearl Island" in Doha, Qatar.

The Pearl is an artificial island dubbed the "Arabian Riviera."

Almawave gives up 0.2 percent. On Thursday it disclosed that it had finalized through its subsidiary The Data Appeal Company Spa the acquisition of 70 percent of the share capital of Mabrian Technologies SL, a Spanish company specializing in the development and implementation of solutions in Travel and Destination Intelligence and focused on innovative data analytics and decision intelligence AI KPI's.

The Data Appeal Company paid a cash consideration of approximately EUR3.6 million.

Grifal is not yet trading. It announced Thursday that it had signed agreements to issue and subscribe for 60 bonds with a nominal value of EUR100,000.00 each, to be issued as part of a non-convertible, non-subordinated bond issue with a total principal amount of EUR6 million.

Saccheria F.lli Franceschetti rises 0.8 percent after announcing Thursday that the shareholders' meeting approved the distribution of an extraordinary dividend of EUR0.043 per share and the authorization of a new buyback plan.

The maximum number of shares purchased will not exceed a total of 177,010 ordinary shares with a maximum value of EUR400,000.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed fractionally in the green at 33,169.05, the Hang Seng was 1.9 percent in the red at 16,303.00, and the Shanghai Composite finished 0.1 percent in the red at 2,914.78.

In New York on European night, the Dow closed up 0.9 percent, the Nasdaq rose 1.3 percent and the S&P 500 finished up 1.0 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.1001 against USD1.0991 recorded at Thursday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2692 from USD1.2660 on Thursday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD80.20 per barrel versus USD79.17 per barrel at Thursday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,050.25 an ounce from USD2,039.32 an ounce on Thursday evening.

Friday's macroeconomic calendar features Italian business and consumer confidence at 1000 CET. Also from Italy, eyes on the non-EU trade balance at 1100 CET and industrial sales at 1200 CET.

Overseas, at 1430 CET, U.S. construction and durable goods premise data will be released, along with the more market mover PCE, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure.

Michigan inflation expectations data will arrive at 1600 CET along with data on home sales. At 1900 CET, the day will close with Baker Hughes drilling rig numbers.

Of note, trading in London will end earlier than usual, at 1330 CET.

Among the companies in the Square Business, no special events are planned.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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