(Alliance News) - On Friday, major European stock markets close mixed, while U.S. markets regain momentum ahead of Monday's holiday closure along with the London Stock Exchange.

Thus, the FTSE Mib closes in the green by 0.1 percent at 34,490.71, the Mid-Cap gains 0.1 percent to 47,706.18, the Small-Cap is on the parity threshold at 29,010.87, as is Italy Growth at 8,240.76.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 ends in the red by 0.2 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is in fractional green, as is Paris' CAC 40.

"After a disappointing session in Asia and Europe, U.S. equity indexes shake off risk-off sentiment amid higher rates longer on the back of an unexpected rise in durable goods orders. The U.S. 2-year yield drifts slightly away from Thursday's highs at 4.95 percent, while the 10-year yield stalls at 4.50 percent and the greenback gives up some of this week's gains," commented Axel Rudolph, Senior Market Analyst at IG.

"Over the course of the week, oil prices fell more than 3 percent to a nearly three-month low due to concerns about demand, but managed to climb back up ahead of next week's OPEC+ meeting in Vienna, which will be held online. U.S. natural gas prices fall about 2.5 percent from their five-month high, while gold prices remain little changed and silver prices rise about a percentage point ahead of the weekend. Next week the focus will be on PCE inflation, the Fed's preferred indicator."

On the Mib, Iveco Group does best of all, up 3.2 percent. The stock is followed by Unipol and Poste Italiane, up 2.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Doing well is Pirelli, in the green by 1.4 percent. As Alliance News columnist Francesco Bonazzi wrote, nearly a year after the exercise of Golden power, Chinese shareholders still control 46 percent of Pirelli and have resisted the temptation to sell, despite the fact that the tire giant's shares have since risen 34.8 percent on the stock market.

"A no small test of resilience as the climate of relations between Rome and Beijing improves and Giorgia Meloni's government attempts to bring a Chinese automaker to Italy as well."

"June 16 will mark one year since the publication of the decree by which the Italian government exercised its Golden power over Pirelli, stepping in feet first on the renewal of the shareholders' agreement between Marco Tronchetti Provera, Sinochem and Silk Road Fund. The Chinese shareholders, who had been interventionist for the first time in eight years, were put off the executive committees after Tronchetti sounded the alarm and cannot change CEOs or intervene in Pirelli's strategic decisions. Basically, they can just collect dividends."

Eni gives up 0.7 percent after announcing Thursday that the first tranche of a new share buyback program will be launched within days.

In detail, the first tranche will cover a maximum of 6.4 million shares and for a maximum outlay of EUR150 million.

The plan had been announced along with the quarterly report and will total EUR1.6 billion and can be increased, based on possible upside, up to EUR3.5 billion.

Saipem - in the red by 0.6 percent - on Wednesday evening reported that its subsidiary Saipem Finance International had successfully completed the placement of a new fixed-rate non-convertible and unsubordinated bond for a total amount of EUR500 million maturing in May 2030.

The bonds pay an annual coupon of 4.875 percent and have a 100 percent re-offer price. The issue date is scheduled for May 30, 2024.

Among the bearers is Enel, down 0.8 percent, as is Monte dei Paschi di Siena,

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri rises 1.7 percent after announcing on Friday that the U.S. Department of Defense awarded the U.S. subsidiary, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, the EUR1.00 billion-plus contract to build the fifth and sixth "Constellation" class frigates for the U.S. Navy.

The contract for the first frigate and option for an additional nine ships, signed in 2020, has a total value of about EUR5.5 billion and includes after-sales support and crew training.

Maire Tecnimont rises 3.3 percent after it announced Thursday that a consortium comprising subsidiary Tecnimont - Integrated E&C Solutions and Baker Hughes has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract by Sonatrach for the construction of three compressor stations, as well as the upgrading of the gas gathering system, at the Hassi R'mel gas field, 550 kilometers south of Algiers.

The total value of the contract is approximately USD2.3 billion, of which Tecnimont is responsible for USD1.7 billion.

Webuild -- in the green by 0.4 percent -- announced Thursday that its subsidiary CSC Construction has been awarded a contract worth a total of more than EUR302 million for the new industrial railway plant in Ticino, with a 67 percent share of about EUR202 million.

The work, commissioned by Swiss Federal Railways to the Ticino OFT Workshops Consortium led by CSC Costruzioni, will carry out preparatory work, such as site installation and excavation, and later the construction of the main building, adjoining technical buildings and work on the exterior spaces.

The work, scheduled to begin in early July 2024, will be completed at the end of 2027, when the new Railway Industrial Plant will go into operation.

Among smallcaps, Tesmec -- down 1.5 percent -- reported Friday that Cerved Rating Agency confirmed the 'B1.2' solicited credit rating assigned to the company.

Bastogi rises 2.8 percent after it reported Thursday that the shareholders' meeting appointed the members of the new board of directors for the three-year period 2024-2026.

The directors appointed from the only list submitted by shareholder Marco Cabassi, therefore, are: Marco Cabassi, chairman of the board, Andrea Raschi, Benedetta Azario, Giulio Ferrari, Maria Adelaide Marchesoni, Elisabet Nyquist, and Rebeca Gómez Tafalla.

Among SMEs, First Capital climbs 6.6 percent after returning to positive net income in 2023, and the board proposed a higher coupon than paid last year.

The company ended 2023 with a net profit of EUR3.4 million, which compares with a loss of EUR9.3 million in the previous year.

Eles rises 0.9 percent. The company announced Thursday the receipt of a repeat order from an established European customer of the ARTmp Medium Power System, for RF and Aerospace & Defense applications.

In New York, the Dow is in the green by 0.2%, the Nasdaq is up 0.9%, and the S&P 500 gains 0.6%.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0845 from USD1.0826 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2736 from USD1.2713 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude trades at USD81.87 per barrel from USD81.78 per barrel on Thursday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,339.90 an ounce from USD2,344.25 an ounce on Thursday evening.

Monday's macroeconomic calendar, with the US and UK stock exchanges closed for holidays, opens at 1000 CEST with data on business expectations in Germany and the IFO business confidence index. At 1200 CEST the Eurogroup meeting is scheduled.

At 1430 CEST Canadian wholesale sales are expected.

Among publicly traded companies, results from Antares Vision, Caribbean Company, Cube Labs, e-Novia, Fenix Entertainment, and Rocket Sharing Company are expected.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

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