(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari opened moderately higher Thursday, as expected, on a day punctuated by some macro data for Italy and the Eurozone but, most importantly, by the European Central Bank's decision.

Saverio Berlinzani, senior analyst for ActivTrades, said, "Yesterday, the U.S. indices extended their gains further, heedless of any positive or negative news published, in an always-favorable risk appetite environment. The technology sector continues to see no end to the uptrend. Even the Dow Jones, which had instead shown corrective declines in the last period, recovered 0.3 percent."

"ISM data showed that U.S. services activity grew to the highest in nine months, above expectations, while the ADP report showed that private firms added fewer jobs than expected, in line with other data indicating a weakening labor market, such as the JOLT Openings. The Fed does not yet seem concerned about labor market trends but, sooner or later, we believe it will have to deal with a significant decline in aggregates, which will push it to run the risk of remaining excessively 'behind the curve.'"

The FTSE Mib opened up 0.3 percent to 34,612.40, the Mid-Cap rises 0.5 percent to 48,139.67, the Small-Cap gains 0.2 percent to 29,479.85 while Italy Growth marks a 0.1 percent increase to 8,218.72.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.1 percent to 8,254.85, Paris' CAC 40 is up 0.5 percent to 8,043.53 and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is up 0.6 percent to 18,685.68.

On the Mib, Mediobanca and Poste Italiane get off to a poor start, in the red by 1.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, followed by a few other bearish performers.

On the other hand, Iveco Group, up 6.8 percent and with the stock currently unpriced, and FinecoBank, up 3.1 percent, are showing off.

The bank has disposed of the Deutsche Bank downgrade and is being rewarded by traders this morning after reporting net inflows of EUR946 million in May. The figure brings total inflows since the beginning of the year to EUR4.0 billion.

In detail, assets under management weighed EUR364 million in May and EUR1.0 billion in the first five months. Fineco Asset Management's inflows are EUR234 million in the month and assets total EUR32.3 billion.

On the Mid-Cap, Technoprobe gains 2.4 percent after Berenberg raised its target price to EUR7.50 from EUR7.10, with a 'hold' recommendation.

MFE continues to do well, with A shares rising 1.3 percent and B shares gaining 1.8 percent. On Wednesday, during the press conference "Mediaset, the TV season September 2023 - May 2024," Pier Silvio Berlusconi, CEO of MFE-MediaForEurope, commented on the group's advertising revenue performance for the first half of 2024, estimating a 6 percent growth over the same period in 2023.

Also doing well was Fincantieri -- up 1.6 percent -- after a German newspaper reported an attempt to take over TKMS, thyssenkrupp's marine systems asset.

Among smallcaps, Compagnia Immobiliare Azionaria rises 8.4 percent and Eems Italia follows with a 6.7 percent gain after issuing 160,427 new ordinary shares to Global Growth Holding following the latter's request to convert three bonds.

Netweek ranks at the bottom, giving up 6.5 percent, followed by Giglio Group, down 4.0 percent.

The latter reported that it ended 2023 with a net loss of EUR3.9 million, which compares with net income of EUR900,000 in the previous year.

As reported by the company, the merger of E-commerce Outsourcing into Giglio Group weighed in. The situation of more than one-third decrease in capital due to losses related to fiscal years 2020 and 2021 remains.

The company's revenues increased to EUR21.3 million from EUR19.7 million in 2022, in this case helped by the integration of E-commerce Outsourcing.

Among SMEs, Emma Villas did well, up 18 percent at the start, tailed by Compagnia dei Caraibi, up 10 percent.

Compagnia dei Caraibi reported that the board has proposed the issuance of a convertible bond reserved for various parties.

Old Customs Warehouse, owner of the Jefferson, Roger, Bergamot, and Fantastico brands, among others, and by Spanish-registered Destillers United Group, owner of the Canaïma Gin and Saroche Cocuy brands, among others, have committed to underwrite the POC, each in the amount of EUR1.5 million.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed Thursday up 0.6 percent to 38,703.51, the Shanghai Composite finished down 0.5 percent to 3,048.79 and the Hang Seng is up 0.3 percent to 18,474.05.

In New York at Wednesday's close, the Dow gained 0.3 percent to 38,807.33, the Nasdaq was up 2.0 percent to 17,187.90 and the S&P 500 was up 1.2 percent to 5,354.03.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0882 from USD1.0869 in Wednesday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2796 from USD1.2776 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD78.82 per barrel from USD77.96 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,367.37 an ounce from USD2,356.07 on Wednesday evening.

Thursday's macroeconomic calendar includes, at 0930 CEST, construction PMIs from Italy, France, Germany and the Eurozone, followed at 1000 CEST by Italian retail sales.

At 1100 CEST, from the Eurozone, the retail sales figure will be available.

At 1415 CEST, meanwhile, there will be the ECB's announcement on interest rates, with the usual press conference 30 minutes later.

From the US, at 1430 CEST, the unemployment claims figure is due, while at 2230 CEST, the Federal Reserve's weekly balance sheet will be released.

Among companies in the Piazza Affari, no particular announcements are expected.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

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