(Alliance News) - Major European stock exchanges open down, Thursday morning, as investors carefully assess a range of economic data and their potential impact on the global monetary policy outlook.

Thus, the FTSE Mib opens in the red 0.6 percent to 28,030.40, the Mid-Cap down 0.2 percent to 41,327.050 as does the Small-Cap to 26,816.280 and Italy Growth to 8,778.72.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 is down 0.2 percent to 7,177.25, Frankfurt's DAX 40 gives up 0.4 percent to 15,690.77 while London's FTSE 100 is in the red 0.5 percent to 7,389.36.

Indeed, the latest ISM PMI survey revealed an unexpected acceleration in U.S. services activity growth to a six-month high in August, raising concerns about inflation and the possibility of an interest rate hike.

Meanwhile, in Europe, ECB officials recently warned that further rate hikes remain a possibility due to persistent inflationary pressures.

In addition, Destatis reported Thursday that German industrial production contracted more than expected in July - by 0.8 percent on a monthly basis, worse than the market consensus of a 0.5 percent drop and following June's downwardly revised 1.4 percent decline - while in the UK, house prices in August posted the most significant year-on-year decline since 2009, falling 4.6 percent from July's 2.5 percent drop.

On the Mib, Eni opens down 1.1 percent and finishes among the worst on the list. Thursday morning it announced the start of the placement of 7-year senior unsecured convertible bonds, the first in the industry to feature a sustainability-linked structure.

They will in fact be linked to Eni's achievement of the following sustainability targets as of Dec. 31, 2025: reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions associated with Upstream operations to a value of 5.2 MtCO 2 eq or less, or minus 65 percent from the 2018 baseline level; and increase of installed capacity for electricity generation from renewable sources to a value of 5 GW or more.

The bonds, for which Eni expects an A- rating from Standard & Poor's, Baa1 from Moody's and A- from Fitch and a total nominal amount of about EUR1 billion, will be convertible into Eni ordinary shares listed on Euronext Milan.

Also down is Intesa Sanpaolo, which gives up 0.8 percent after announcing Wednesday that a buyback plan will be launched from Sept. 11 to purchase 32 million shares, or 0.2 percent of the share capital.

At the top is Moncler, which rises 0.5 percent, followed by Telecom Italia, which advances 0.4 percent.

Assicurazioni Generali -- up 0.2% -- placed on Tuesday a new euro-denominated Tier 2 bond maturing in September, issued in a "green" format under its Sustainability Bond Framework. Of note, Barclays raised Generali's target price to EUR19.00 from EUR18.70 with 'underweight' title.

Among the few bullish performers, besides Unipol in the green by 0.2 percent, is Inwit, which rises with 0.3 percent.

On the Mid-Cap, Banca Ifis gives up 0.4 percent after announcing Wednesday evening that it has completed the placement of a EUR300 million senior preferred bond issue aimed at institutional investors.

The transaction is part of the EUR5 billion EMTN issuance program as set out in the bank's Business Plan covering the three-year period 2022-24.

Tod's opens up 1.8 percent on the strength of its half-year results released Wednesday evening: the company reported revenues of EUR569.1 million, up 22 percent from EUR467.5 million in the same period last year. All product categories recorded double-digit growth.

Net income as of June 30 stood at EUR30.9 million, up from EUR755,000 in the same period last year.

Banca Popolare di Sondrio's bullish trajectory continues, opening up 1.5 percent, following Wednesday's news of Unipol's interest in rising from 9.5 percent to 20 percent in the Valtellina-based popular bank.

Better than Tod's and Banca Popolare di Sondrio is only Pharmanutra, which advances 2.6 percent.

Anima Holding--down 0.6 percent--reported Wednesday that net inflows from assets under management in August were positive at EUR256 million. Taking into account Branch I insurance proxies, negative EUR1.12 billion, total net inflows for the month were negative EUR866 million, and negative EUR742 million since the beginning of the year. At the end of August, the group's total assets under management stood at about EUR188.2 billion up from EUR182.8 billion recorded on August 31, 2022.

On the Small-Cap, Cellularline advances with 2.5 percent after reporting Wednesday data for the first half of the year, which closed with a net loss of EUR4 million, an improvement from that for EUR43 million as of June 30, 2022.

Sales revenues amounted to EUR67.8 million, up from EUR54.6 million in the same period last year.

Olidata remains in the upper quarters with a plus 3.8 percent after reporting Tuesday that it won an Enel contract worth about EUR5.0 million through its subsidiary Sferanet. The contract is for a digitization and document management solution, Olidata points out in a statement.

Immsi, on the other hand, gives up 1.2 percent. The company said Tuesday that its board of directors approved the half-year report as of June 30, reporting a net profit of EUR47.1 million, up 27 percent from EUR24.4 million in the same period of 2022. Revenues amounted to EUR1.28 billion, up from EUR1.07 billion in the first half of 2022.

Among SMEs, Execus did well, rising 8.2 percent. The company debuted on the Milan Stock Exchange on August 4 after a EUR900,000 IPO raising.

Franchetti opens up 0.5 percent. On Wednesday it announced that it has appointed Gianluca Del Fabbro as its new general manager.

Fabbro will take up the post starting Sept. 18 and will report directly to Chairman and CEO Paolo Franchetti.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed in the red 0.7 percent to 33,010.00, the Shanghai Composite gave up 1.1 percent to 3,122.35, and the Hang Seng was down 1.4 percent to 18,181.00.

Among U.S. exchanges, in the European overnight, the Dow Jones closed in the red 0.6 percent to 34,443.19, the S&P down 0.7 percent to 4,465.48, and the Nasdaq finished down 1.1 percent to 13,872.47.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0711 to USD1.0715 in Wednesday's closing European equities while the pound was worth USD1.2468 to USD1.2502 on Wednesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD90.25 per barrel versus USD90.19 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD1,918.02 an ounce from USD1,916.47 an ounce on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday's economic calendar, the retail sales figure is released at 1000 CEST in Italy.

At 1100 CEST, from the Eurozone comes the employment, current account and GDP data.

From the U.S., at 1430 CEST, there are claims for unemployment benefits, at 1730 CEST the crude oil stocks figure and the Cushing inventory in addition to the 4- and 8-week Treasury auctions.

At 2255 CEST, however, a speech by FOMC memebro Bowman is scheduled.

On the corporate calendar, upcoming half-yearly reports from Equita Group, Eurotech, Gas Plus, MutuiOnline Group, Intermonte Partners SIM, IVS Group, LU-VE, MeglioQuesto, Neodecortech, SOL and Italian Sea Group.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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