(Alliance News) - On Friday, major European stock markets close in positive territory, with Milan doing best of all following the release of the minutes of the latest European Central Bank meeting and a sprinkling of corporate results among companies listed on Piazza Affari.

Thus, the FTSE Mib closes in the green by 0.9 percent to 34,657.35, the Mid-Cap gives up 0.8 percent to 47,775.37, the Small-Cap leaves 0.5 percent to 29,325.01 on the parterre, and Italy Growth closes up 0.2 percent to 8,257.72.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 ends in the green by 0.1 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is down 0.2 percent, as is Paris' CAC 40.

On the minutes, ECB officials let it be known that they are increasingly considering the possibility of a rate cut. Pending further data, they noted a strengthening of the arguments for such action, particularly as inflation is expected to continue its downward trajectory.

Officials remained cautious, highlighting concerns about persistent domestic price pressures, including robust wage growth and sluggish labor productivity.

They also emphasized the fragility of the disinflationary process, which depends on favorable developments in wages, profits and productivity, stressing the need for more comprehensive insights for the June meeting.

On the Mib, DiaSorin does best of all and rises 6.0 percent after the release of its accounts. In fact, the company reported on Friday that it reported first quarter net income of EUR46.0 million up from EUR42.0 million in the same period of 2023 and adjusted net income of EUR59 million in line with the March 31, 2023 figure.

Revenues rise to EUR289 million, stable from EUR290 million in the first quarter a year earlier.

Enel also does well, up 3.8 percent. The company said it closed the first quarter of the year with group net income of EUR1.93 billion from EUR1.03 billion and up 87 percent from March 31, 2023.

Revenues in the period stood at EUR19.43 billion from EUR26.41 billion in Q1 2023, marking a 26 percent decline.

Capital expenditures amounted to EUR2.58 billion in the first quarter, down from EUR286 million in the same period a year earlier.

Leonardo also rises, up 3.0%. The company announced that it has signed a binding agreement to sell the Underwater Armaments & Systems business line to Fincantieri - in the red by 0.6% on the Mid - for an amount based on an Enterprise Value consisting of a fixed component of EUR300 million and a variable component of a maximum of EUR115 million upon the occurrence of certain performance targets for the year 2024, for a total Enterprise Value of a maximum of EUR415 million.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2025 and is subject to typical approvals for this type of transaction.

On the bottom is Brunello Cucinelli, in the red by 0.9 percent, as is Ferrari. Cucinelli saw Jefferies downgrade the stock to 'hold' from 'buy' and cut its target price to EUR97.00 from EUR101.00.

As for Ferrari, the company reported Tuesday that it closed the first quarter with revenues of EUR1.59 billion, up sharply - by 11 percent - from EUR1.43 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Units delivered in the first three months of the year remained almost stable year-on-year, at 3,560 from 3,567 a year earlier.

On the cadet segment, UnipolSai Assicurazioni -- down 0.3 percent -- approved its consolidated results as of March 31, 2024, reporting a consolidated net profit of EUR235 million, compared with a result of EUR231 million in the corresponding period of the previous year.

In the first three months of 2024, direct insurance inflows, before reinsurance cessions, stood at EUR4.2 billion, up 8.7 percent from EUR3.86 billion recorded as of March 31, 2023 and 9.8 percent on a like-for-like basis.

Salvatore Ferragamo gives up 0.6% after it reported Thursday that it ended the first quarter with revenues of EUR227 million, down 18% at current exchange rates and 17% at constant exchange rates compared with the first quarter of 2023.

Rai Way gives up 0.2 percent after reporting Friday that it closed the first quarter with a net profit of EUR23.8 million from EUR23.5 million in the year-earlier first quarter.

Core revenues amounted to EUR68.9 million from EUR67.8 million in the first quarter of 2023.

De' Longhi -- up 2.0 percent -- reported Friday that it ended the first quarter with net income of EUR51.3 million from EUR38.7 million as of March 31, 2023.

Revenues for the period stood at EUR658.8 million from EUR602.4 million in last year's first quarter.

Among smallcaps, Aeffe gives up 5.8 percent after it approved its annual report for the year to March 31 on Friday, closing the period with a net loss of EUR5.6 million compared with a loss of EUR300,000 in 2023 in the same period.

The Aeffe group had first quarter 2024 revenues of EUR80.2 million, compared to EUR93.2 million in 2023.

Alerion Clean Power gives up 0.7 percent after it reported Friday that it ended the first quarter with operating revenues of EUR49.1 million from EUR56.4 million in the first quarter of 2023.

Banca Profilo closes 4.6 percent in the red after it approved its interim report as of March 31, 2024, closing with net income of EUR2.8 million, down 55 percent from the first three months of last year.

Total customer deposits, including net fiduciary deposits, stood at EUR6.1 billion, up from EUR5.8 billion as of March 31, 2023.

Banca Sistema -- in the green by 7.0 percent -- reported Friday that it reported a profit of EUR4.4 million in the first quarter of the year from EUR3.8 million as of March 31, 2023. Net income was EUR4.1 million from EUR3.7 million.

Net interest income for the period was EUR11.8 million from EUR20.6 million in 2023.

Among SMEs, Green Oleo--flat at EUR0.93 per share--reported on Friday that the board of directors has resolved to initiate a share buyback program of up to EUR800,000.

Lucisano Media Group rises 0.8 percent after it announced Friday that its subsidiary Italian International Cinema, which is active in the operation of Multiplex theaters with a view to simplifying the group's structure, has finalized the purchase of 50 percent of the shares of Goofwind, which IIC already held in an identical percentage, thus becoming its sole shareholder.

Tweppy -- in the green by 3.7 percent -- announced Friday that it had signed a binding agreement to acquire 100 percent of Syncrogest's share capital.

The amount agreed upon is EUR740,857 and will be paid to current shareholders Valerio Giacomelli, Silvia Canova, and Syncronika holding 70 percent, 20 percent, and 10 percent of the share capital, respectively.

In New York, the Dow is in the green by 0.1 percent, the Nasdaq is down 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 gives up 0.1 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0770 from USD1.0776 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2519 from USD1.2514 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD83.59 per barrel from USD84.33 per barrel on Thursday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,372.35 an ounce from USD2,312.69 an ounce on Thursday night.

On Monday's macroeconomic calendar at 0900 CEST is the SECO economic forecast for the second quarter, while at 1100 CEST comes the EU economic forecast.

At 1200 CEST the Eurogroup meeting is scheduled, while an hour later the German non-seasonally adjusted current account is released.

Overseas, Canada publishes building permits.

Among the companies listed on Piazza Affari, results from Acinque, Immsi, Pininfarina, RCS MediaGroup, and Unidata, among others, are expected.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

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