(Alliance News) - European stock markets move in a bearish trend, with Milan tentatively in the green in the 35,400 area, as traders assess the prospects that the Fed is likely to keep interest rates higher for longer.

Caution also reigns following cautious comments by European Central Bank board member Isabel Schnabel. The advisor said the ECB should approach rate cuts beyond June with caution. She said a rate cut in June might be appropriate based on incoming data and new projections by Eurosystem staff, but stressed the uncertainty surrounding future rate cuts beyond June.

On inflation, the Eurozone rate stood at 2.4 percent in April, stable from March, as reported Friday by Eurostat.A year earlier the rate was 7.0 percent. Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices from the calculation, rose 2.7 percent year-on-year in April, down from 2.9 percent in March.

At the moment, 44 percent of stocks in the Italian stock market are not traded, while the total share of bearish traders is 28 percent with a trading value exceeding EUR1.0 billion.

The FTSE Mib is moving up slightly by 0.1 percent to 35,437.51, with performance over the seven days marking plus 3.1 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is down 0.4 percent, Paris' CAC 40 is similarly giving up 0.4 percent, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is giving up 0.3 percent.

Among the smaller lists, the Mid-Cap is down 0.2% to 48,302.91, the Small-Cap is down 0.1% to 29,465.48, while Italy Growth is in the green 0.3% to 8,251.81.

On the Mib, Saipem advances 1.8% to EUR2.25 per share, confirming its strength since the bell rang. The company announced Thursday that it has been awarded a new offshore contract by Azule Energy Angola Spa to develop the Ndungu Field project, as part of the Agogo Integrated West Hub project, located about 180 kilometers off the coast of Angola. The value of the contract is approximately USD850 million.

Strength and head of the list for Banca Monte dei Paschi, which advances 2.3 percent instead, with the Siena-based bank posting a 73 percent gain since the beginning of the year.

Also among the best is Banco BPM, which is up 1.8 percent to EUR6.65. During the previous session it updated the high for 2024 with price caressed at EUR6.57, while it resected the 52-week high at EUR6.66 in the current session.

At the tail end, Interpump is giving up 2.3 percent. The stock -- which on the weekly shows a 7.7 percent gain -- on Wednesday approved its interim report as of March 31, closing the period with a net profit of EUR67.6 million compared to EUR86.0 million in the first quarter of 2023, a decrease of about 22 percent.

Amplifon, on the other hand, contracted by 0.8 percent. The stock -- which will go ex-dividend on May 20 -- gives ground after three sessions with a bullish candle.

On the cadet segment, Intercos advances well, posting plus 0.9 percent, heading for the fourth session on the bullish side.

El.En. moves ahead 1.0%, with price at EUR10.11. On Wednesday, it approved its interim report as of March 31, with a positive pre-tax profit of EUR14.4 million, registering a 13 percent decrease from EUR16.6 million as of March 31, 2023.

For Moltiply Group, on the other hand, assets were 2.8 percent. The company announced Thursday that its Mavriq Division has signed binding agreements to acquire a leading online comparison and brokerage operator in the Netherlands. The agreed entreprise value for 100 percent of Pricewise's shares is EUR25.0 million, and the purchase will be financed through cash and/or use of already available credit lines.

Industrie de Nora, on the other hand, gives up 2.0 percent, following up on the eve's decline that closed with minus 2.0 percent.

Closing the list is Carel Industries, which gives up 3.2 percent, subject to profit taking after two sessions in which it rallied nearly 12 percent.

On the Small-Cap, Netweek is moving ahead 4.2%, with new price at EUR0.05. The company announced Thursday that it had signed a contract to acquire 100 percent of Telecity 2 Srl, a company into which the television and publishing activities of the Telecity group, a leader in Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria, and Valle d'Aosta, had been contributed. The price paid for 100 percent of Telecity 2 is EUR6 million and includes -- among others -- the television activities of the four regional broadcasters, the Assago office and about 40 employees.

Alkemy, on the other hand, advances 2.3 percent to EUR9.80 per share, after two sessions closed among the downside due to its first quarter accounts released a few days ago. The company closed with a profit of EUR200,000 down 63 percent from EUR700,000 in the same period of 2023.

Eurotech -- in the green by 0.1 percent after two sessions in which it lost more than 16 percent -- reported Wednesday evening that it made a loss of EUR4.2 million in the first quarter from a profit of EUR100,000 in the first quarter of 2023.

Caleffi is stepping back 1.8%. The company reported that a buyback plan already approved by shareholders this week will be launched today. The purpose of the plan is to buy back a maximum of EUR200,000 of its own ordinary shares.

Beghelli contracted 2.8 percent, following a 3.3 percent green in the previous session. The stock--which has not detached its dividend since 2017--closed the eve's session in the green by 3.3 percent.

Among SMBs, strength on iVision tech, which moved ahead 11 percent before going into a volatility auction. The company reported that its board of directors has approved the issuance of two bonds with a total value of EUR7.0 million.

SG Co -- in the money with 2.8 percent -- reported Friday that the value of the group's contracted order book as of April 30 was about EUR19.3 million, up 87 percent from the figure for the same period a year earlier, when it was EUR10.3 million. The figure is equivalent to 65 percent of the group's consolidated turnover as of Dec. 31, 2023, or EUR29.5 million.

ESI, on the other hand, is giving up 3.6 percent, in its third session with a bearish candle.

The tail end of the list is for Impianti, which marks a minus 7.0% at EUR0.456. The stock in the last seven days marks a 70% gain, while in one month it has doubled its capitalization.

In New York on the European evening, the Dow gave up 0.1%, the Nasdaq gave up 0.3%, and the S&P 500 left 0.2% on the parterre.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands to USD1.0841 from USD1.0870 in Thursday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2651 from USD1.2669 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD83.35 per barrel from USD83.17 per barrel on Thursday evening. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,383.41 an ounce from USD2,372.24 an ounce on Thursday night.

As for Friday afternoon's macroeconomic calendar in the U.S., eyes on the Federal Reserve's Daly and Waller speeches while at 1900 CEST will come Baker Hughes drilling rig data.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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