(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari withstands the pre-Christmas bump with rises in Telecom Italia and Eni and hovers around parity on a day full of macro cues, the last before the holiday break.

In December, business confidence rose again after four consecutive months of decline and reached its highest level since last July, led by the services and construction sectors. The consumer confidence index also rises for the second consecutive month and is also back to July's level.

In detail, Istat on Friday reported that in December it estimates an increase in consumer confidence to 106.7 from 103.6, and expects the composite indicator of business confidence to rise to 107.2 from 103.5.

The FTSE Mib is tied at 30,269.62, the Mid-Cap rises 0.1 percent to 44,370.15, the Small-Cap gains 0.1 percent to 27,819.50, and Italy Growth is up 0.3 percent to 8,116.47.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 rises 0.1 percent to 7,700.45, Paris' CAC 40 is just above par at 7,574.20 and Frankfurt's DAX 40 gives up little to 16,680.53.

On the Mib, Eni is up 0.8 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 more than EUR10 billion.

Telecom Italia also does well, rising 0.7% and retracing slightly after an initial rise of more than 1.0%.

Assicurazioni Generali - up 0.6% - on Thursday announced that it had finalized the sale of Generali Deutschland Pensionskasse to Frankfurter Leben following approval by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority and the relevant local competition authorities.

Extension and modernization of electricity distribution infrastructure in Lombardy to help achieve national and European decarbonization targets through electrification of consumption.

This is the objective of the EUR200 million loan that the EIB has granted to A2A-which yields 0.1 percent-in line with the REPowerEU, which aims to respond to growing energy demand while promoting the spread of renewables, diversification and security of energy supply.

On the Mid-Cap, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore -- up 1.0 percent -- announced Thursday that it had signed an agreement to sell its entire 50 percent stake in Mediamond to Publitalia '80.

The stake is held by the subsidiary Direct Channel, 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 -- down 1.2 percent -- announced Thursday evening that it had appointed Citigroup and UniCredit 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, "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 2.2 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 is up 2.3 percent after signing on Thursday a contract to acquire the entire share capital of GMM Finance, the holding company heading the GMM Group, which also includes GMM, Bavelloni and Techni Waterjet, 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 about EUR72 million,

IRCE--in parity--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 rises 1.3 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 0.9% after gaining more than 25% 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--down 0.9 percent--reported Wednesday that the listing of its Indian subsidiary DOMS Industries Ltd on the National Stock Exchange of India has been successfully completed.

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 rises 3.0 percent after announcing on 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 Hub, for a total amount of EUR3.6 million

Gismondi 1754 - up 6.5 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 rises 0.5 percent. Thursday disclosed that it has 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 gains 2.2 percent. On Thursday, it announced that it has signed agreements for the issuance and subscription of 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 1.2 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 up fractionally at 33,169.05, the Hang Seng lost 1.7 percent to 16,340.41 and the Shanghai Composite gave up 0.1 percent to 2,914.78.

In New York on European night, the Dow closed up 0.9 percent at 37,404.35, the Nasdaq rose 1.3 percent to 14,963.87 and the S&P 500 gained 1.0 percent to 4,746.75.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.1019 against USD1.0991 recorded at Thursday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2713 from USD1.2660 on Thursday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD79.97 per barrel versus USD79.17 per barrel at Thursday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,054.65 an ounce from USD2,039.32 an ounce on Thursday evening.

Friday's macroeconomic calendar includes overseas U.S. premise-to-construct and durable goods data at 1430 CET, 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 home sales data. 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.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

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