(Alliance News) - On Thursday, major European stock markets close in positive territory on a day that saw two key economies--UK and Japan--fall into recession.

Thus, the FTSE Mib closes in the green 1.2 percent to 31,694.44, the Mid-Cap gives up 0.2 percent to 45,193.97, the Small-Cap gives up 0.5 percent to 27,516.65, and Italy Growth ends up 0.3 percent to 8,123.89.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 ends in the green by 0.4 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 rises 0.6 percent, and Paris' CAC 40 ends in the green by 0.9 percent.

"Global markets continue to hold up despite the news that Japan and the UK entered recession in the fourth quarter of last year. Today's data raised hopes for an imminent rate cut in the UK, as Germany is also teetering on the brink of recession, and an earlier-than-expected rate cut in the Eurozone," commented Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

"Tuesday's U.S. CPI data seemed to be the spark that would kick off a reasonable period of weakness in equities, but markets are rarely so forgiving. Although names in the technology sector are weaker today, it doesn't seem to be the news that is driving the movement, and the gains in the Dow and S&P 500 suggest that this is more of a period of rotation in the global indices."

On the Mib, Stellantis leads the gains, rising 5.7 percent. The company has decided to award a total bonus of EUR1.9 billion to employees worldwide after reporting growing results in 2023.

Revenues from sales of the merged company of FCA and PSA Groupe rose to EUR189.54 billion from EUR179.59 billion in 2022, up 6 percent.

Net income improved to EUR18.63 billion or 11% from EUR16.78 billion while adjusted Ebit rose to EUR24.34 billion from EUR24.02 billion, with margin on revenues down to 12.8% from 13.4%.

Also up was Prysmian - up 4.7 percent - which reported that it had finalized contracts for three orders with an aggregate value of about EUR5 billion with Amprion, one of Europe's leading transmission system operators, for two offshore grid connection systems, BalWin1 and BalWin2, and the DC34 onshore cable project.

The orders, which have now been included in Prysmian's order backlog, follow Prysmian's selection as "preferred bidder" in August 2023.

Eni rises 0.7 percent after reporting Thursday that it successfully completed the Cronos-2 well, drilled to test the Cronos discovery, made in Block 6, offshore Cyprus, in August 2022.

Banks go down, with BPM, MPS and BPER giving up between 3.1 percent and 1.5 percent. Worse is only Interpump, down 3.8% after the accounts.

The company reported Wednesday that it ended 2023 with year-over-year revenue and profit growth.

Revenue from sales increased to EUR2.24 billion or 7.8% from EUR2.08 billion in 2022, with Oil up 6.0% and Water up 13%.

Net income rose to EUR277.5 million from EUR269.7 million while basic earnings per share rose to EUR2.565 from EUR2.524 a year earlier. ROCE was 18.1 percent from 17.7 percent and ROI was 15.4 percent from 17.2 percent.

On the cadet segment, Industrie De Nora--up 0.4 percent--reported Thursday that it has entered into a partnership with Mangrove Lithium to supply Cechlo systems.

Mangrove will use De Nora's electrochemical technologies in its patented Clear-LiTM technology process to refine lithium, sourced from both mines and spent battery recovery, for the production of new batteries, helping to unlock bottlenecks in the lithium supply chain.

Sanlorenzo gives up 2.9 percent. The company announced that it has initiated a new share buyback program for up to 3.5 million shares.

Among smallcaps, Esprinet--in the red by 11%--reported Wednesday that it had revenues from customer contracts of EUR4.0 billion in 2023, down 15% from EUR4.7 billion in 2022.

The latest quarter saw revenues of about EUR1.2 billion, down 15 percent from the same period in 2022 when they were EUR1.5 billion.

Gefran gives up 0.5 percent, after reporting Wednesday that it ended 2023 with revenues down slightly year-on-year to EUR132.8 million from EUR134.4 million a year earlier.

Revenues as of Dec. 31, 2022, included EUR1.8 million, of which EUR800,000 related to the billing of services to companies that left the scope due to the sale of the drives business to the WEG Group and EUR900,000 for residual sales of drives products not subject to restatement, as they were generated by companies excluded from the scope of the business sale.

Restart gives up 0.5 percent, after announcing Tuesday that the board approved guidelines for drafting the new business plan.

The plan will pursue two business models: the balanced one involves the purchase of real estate assets on a proprietary basis with the aim of generating constant and indexed revenues over time that will ensure stable profitability; the opportunistic one involves a strategy aimed at seeking investment opportunities or opportunistic co-investment of portfolios or distressed assets underlying NPLs or UTPs, which are to be restructured, developed and repositioned in order to maximize their value for investors and shareholders by reselling them on the market.

Among the SMEs, Yolo Group - in the green by 3.1 percent - announced Thursday that it had completed the acquisition of the share capital of Bartolozzi Assicurazioni Broker Srl: it had acquired 51 percent of Bartolozzi on Feb. 28, 2022, and today the remaining 49 percent was taken over at "a non-significant price agreed between the parties," the statement said.

Sia--not affected by the trading--reported on Thursday that it closed the fourth quarter of 2023 with a value of production of EUR16.6 million, which compares with EUR15.4 million in the same period last year.

ALA rises 4.2 percent after reporting Thursday that it closed 2023 with a value of production of EUR233.1 million compared to EUR158.7 million a year earlier, an increase of 47 percent.

In New York, the Dow is in the green 0.4 percent to 38,583.15, the Nasdaq gives up 0.3 percent to 15,820.84 and the S&P 500 gains 0.1 percent to 5,007.79.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0760 against USD1.0716 recorded in Wednesday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2576 from USD1.2551 on Wednesday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD82.96 per barrel versus USD82.70 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,012.50 an ounce from USD1,991.83 an ounce last night.

Friday's calendar opens at 0530 CET in Japan with the tertiary industries activity index, while at 0800 CET come UK retail sales.

At the same time is the release of the wholesale price index in Germany and at 0830 CET Swiss industrial production.

At 0845 CET it's the turn of French inflation, while overseas at 1430 CET the U.S. compulsion permits and the index of major producer prices are published.

Among the companies listed in Piazza Affari, the results of Esautomotion, Farmacosmo, Imprendiroma, Juventus Football Club, Laboratorio Farmaceutico Erfo, Unipol, UnipolSai and VNE are expected.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

Comments and questions to redazione@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2024 Alliance News IS Italian Service Ltd. All rights reserved.