(Alliance News) - The main Milanese index on Thursday veers downward into the 29,000-point area after an initial positive start, with trading rooms awaiting the minutes of the European Central Bank's October meeting. New PMI surveys showed a slower contraction in Eurozone economic activity for November, while attention also shifts to the victory of right-wing populists in the Dutch elections.

Still on the ECB, earlier this week, the accommodative stance of Mario Centeno -- number one at the Central Bank of Portugal -- contrasted sharply with the outlook of Budesbank's Joachim Nagel, suggesting rates near their peak, while Lagarde warned against premature optimism.

Thus, the FTSE Mib is giving up 0.2 percent in the 29,092.59 area with a call/put ratio at 1.00.

In Europe, Paris's CAC 40 is advancing 0.2 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is posting a gain of 0.1 percent, while London's FTSE 100 is giving up 0.2 percent.

Among the smaller listings on Wednesday, Mid-Cap is down 0.1% to 41,580.79, Small-Cap is in the red 0.1% to 25,741.9 while Italy Growth is in marginal green at 7,831.56.

On the main list of Piazza Affari, Leonardo continues well, moving well since the bell rang marking a green of 1.1 percent, rearing its head after two bearish sessions.

Good trades also on Saipem, which appreciates 0.5% after two sessions closed down.

The buy side also prevails on parent Eni, with the six-legged dog's stock advancing 1.1 percent. The company announced Wednesday that it had purchased 1.1 million of its own ordinary shares, worth a total of EUR16.1 million.

Banco BPM -- in the green by 0.4 percent -- announced that it has successfully completed a new Social Senior Preferred issue with a four-year maturity in the amount of EUR500 million. The issue is the group's first full investment grade. Orders, amounting to more than EUR2 billion, exceeded four times the amount issued, with the participation of more than 150 investors, confirming the increasing recognition by investors in the Banco BPM name. About 90 percent of the allocated orders had an ESG connotation.

The bond was issued at a price of 99.818 percent and pays a fixed coupon of 4.625 percent. The bond, which is reserved for institutional investors, was issued under the issuer's Euro Medium Term Notes Program and has an expected rating of Baa2/BBB-/BBB (Moody's/S&P/Fitch/DBRS).

Enel trades in the red by 0.3 percent at EUR6.37. Of note, Goldman Sachs raised its target price to EUR8.45 from EUR8.35.

The tail end of the list, however, is for DiaSorin, which gives ground with 1.5 percent after a 1.0 percent green in the previous session.

On the cadet segment, Caltagirone advances with 2.1 percent after a 0.5 percent decline on eve.

MFE-MediaForEurope reported Thursday that in the first nine months of the year it reported a consolidated net profit of EUR71.0 million from EUR78.5 million in the same period last year. As of Sept. 30, consolidated revenues stood at EUR1.86 billion, down from EUR1.90 billion in the first nine months 2022. Ebit in the period was EUR98.3 million from EUR97.6 million as of Sept. 30, 2022.Class A shares trade up 6.3 percent, while class B shares advance 5.5 percent.

Fincantieri - in the money with 1.5 percent - announced that it has signed a 10-year contract with the Armament Authority of the Ministry of Defense of the Arab Republic of Egypt for two Fremm units of In-Service Support and Integrated Logistic Support, i.e., preventive maintenance services, logistic studies and corrective maintenance on demand, worth about EUR260 million.

LU-VE, on the other hand, contracted by 1.7 percent, following the eve's decline with 0.7 percent.

De' Longhi - equally at the back of the pack - instead gives up 1.6 percent after a 2.0 percent gain in the previous session.

On the Small-Cap, Restart advances well, up 4.7 percent after eve's loss of 2.3 percent.

Good trades also for Aquafil, which advances 2.5% to EUR2.85. The stock on the monthly time frame marks a surplus of more than 30%. The company presented its 2023-2025 strategic plan on Tuesday, reporting, for the period, a forecast of growth in sales volumes. However, for fiscal year 2023, in terms of volumes, a negative change of between 3 percent and 4 percent compared to the previous year is expected. Expected Ebitda for FY 2023 is in the range of EUR45-50 million while adjusted Ebitda from this effect is in the range of EUR68-70 million.

On a negative note, among others, Il Sole 24 Ore gives up 2.8 percent with price at EUR0.6160. The stock since the beginning of 2023 marks a green of about 30 percent.

Cellularline - flat at EUR2.34 - on Wednesday announced that it has authorized a buyback plan for 1.0 million shares corresponding to about 4.6 percent of the share capital and for a maximum amount of EUR3 million.

Among SMEs, Fope moves ahead 2.9 percent to EUR28.00 per share increasing assets on a weekly basis to 17 percent.

Almawave - in the green by 1.0 percent to EUR3.94 - disclosed Wednesday that its subsidiary The Data Appeal Company has signed a binding agreement to acquire 70 percent of the share capital of Mabrian Technologies, a company based in Spain - Menorca and Barcelona - active in the development of solutions in the Travel and Destination Intelligence field and focused on innovative data analytics and decision intelligence AI KPI's.

The deal involves The Data Appeal's purchase of 70 percent, in cash, of Mabrian's share capital. The price paid, amounting to approximately EUR3.7 million, was agreed on the basis of an enterprise value of EUR6.1 million and will be subject to adjustment on the closing date based on the final net financial position. The deal also provides for the possible recognition of an earn-out, amounting to a maximum of EUR1.5 million, upon the achievement of specific outstanding economic and financial performance, to be recognized following the approval of the 2023 financial statements.

Instead, Convergenze gives up 9 percent to EUR1.32 per share before going into volatility staging, with the stock subject to profit taking after three sessions of major gains.

In New York on European night, the Dow rallied 0.5 percent as did the Nasdaq, while the S&P 500 put up 0.4 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0920 versus USD1.0871 recorded at Wednesday's European stock close, while the pound was worth USD1.2549 from USD1.2463 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD81.19 per barrel from USD79.23 per barrel at yesterday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD1,993.00 an ounce from USD1,993.28 an ounce on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday's macroeconomic calendar, the ECB minutes will be released at 1330 CET instead.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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