(Alliance News) - European stock markets opened higher on Friday, with investors welcoming encouraging inflation data released Thursday from both the Eurozone and the U.S., fostering optimism and fueling speculation about possible rate cuts by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, investors will have to analyze the final manufacturing PMI data across the region for further guidance.

Thus, the FTSE Mib opens in the green 0.1 percent to 29,768.29, the Mid-Cap advances 0.2 percent to 42,034.17, the Small-Cap is just above par at 26,054.54 while Italy Growth rises 0.3 percent to 7,931.43.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 advances 0.5 percent as does Frankfurt's DAX 40 while London's FTSE 100 rises 0.6 percent.

"The best news is that inflation in Europe was weaker than expected," comments Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Analyst at Swissquote Bank. "Inflation in the Eurozone fell to 2.4 percent in November from 2.9 percent in the previous month. It was also much better than the drop to 2.7 percent predicted by analysts. Core inflation also fell more than expected to 3.6 percent."

"Now, inflation can be a bit tricky and tends to make unexpected comebacks. Europe is not completely out of the woods yet, as the labor market remains robust and the European Central Bank remains cautious. However, one of the main drivers of inflation in Europe, the Russian gas nightmare, has been overcome as the region has taken massive measures to prepare for this winter season: it has reduced its dependence on Russian gas to only 12 percent. This is a significant drop from 40 percent before the war in Ukraine."

On the main list of Piazza Affari, CNH Industrial does best of all with a rise of 1.9 percent. The company announced that on Thursday S&P Global Ratings raised the long-term credit rating of the company and its subsidiary, CNH Industrial Capital LLC, to "BBB+" from "BBB."

S&P Global Ratings also affirmed the "A-2" short-term credit rating.

In addition, CNH points out in a note, S&P Global Ratings raised the issue-level ratings of CNH Industrial and its industrial subsidiaries, as well as the issue-level ratings of CNH Industrial Capital LLC's senior unsecured debt to "BBB+" from "BBB."

Tenaris did well, in the green by 1.0%. The company announced Thursday that it has completed the acquisition from Mattr - MATR.TO - of the pipeline coating business unit for USD182.6 million, including estimated working capital and USD16.9 million.

Prysmian - in the green by 0.9 percent - announced Thursday that it has won an order worth about EUR850 million awarded by Eastern Green Link 1 Limited involving the supply of cable systems for a major national grid development project between Scotland and England.

Intesa Sanpaolo--up 0.5 percent--reported Thursday that it has received the ECB's final decision regarding the capital requirement to be met as of January 1, 2024 at the consolidated level, following the outcomes of the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process.

The total capital requirement to be met in terms of Common Equity Tier 1 ratio is 9.32 percent. Intesa Sanpaolo's capital ratios at the consolidated level as of September 30, 2023 are 13.6 percent for the Common Equity Tier 1 ratio, 19.2 percent for the Total Capital ratio.

On the Mid-Cap, Fincantieri gives up 0.2 percent. It announced Friday that it has finalized terms and conditions for the purchase from Advanced Technology Industrial Group SA of 100 percent of Remazel Engineering Spa, for a consideration based on an enterprise value of EUR78 million. Closing is expected in the first quarter of 2024.

At the top is Technogym, up 6.5 percent followed by Ferretti, up 2.5 percent.

Seco is down 0.8 percent after rising on the eve of the day. On Thursday it informed that it has signed a new business agreement with a leading global manufacturer of fully automatic coffee machines designed for both home and professional use. The company expects the design win to generate revenues in excess of EUR50 million in the two-year period 2024-2025.

Sesa gives up 0.4 percent. The company announced Thursday that it has signed through BDX, a subsidiary of Base Digitale Group, a partnership agreement with Gellify to develop an open finance platform in Wealth Management through the establishment of the joint venture DataCoreX Srl, 66 percent owned by BDX and 34 percent owned by Gellify, with the aim of further expanding its product and solution offerings for the Financial Services market.

On the Small-Cap, Greenthesis -- in the red by 2.1 percent -- on Thursday reported that its newly formed wholly owned subsidiary Agromet Barbianello Srl had completed the purchase of the business unit of Alfalfa Energia Srl Società Agricola.

The configured branch, whose price has been quantified between the parties at approximately EUR3.2 million, is associated with annual sales in excess of EUR2.0 million.

Zucchi - flat at EUR2.21 - reported Thursday that its board of directors approved its interim report as of September 30, reporting a profit of EUR2.9 million for the nine months, up from EUR1.4 million for the same period in 2022.

Banca Profilo - in the green at EUR0.21 - announced Thursday that Arepo BP Spa, the company's controlling shareholder and banking parent company of the Banca Profilo Group, and Twenty First Capital Sas, have agreed on an extension to March 20, 2024, of the deadline for the fulfillment of the conditions precedent stipulated in the preliminary purchase and sale agreement for a number of Banca Profilo shares representing 29 percent of its share capital, net of treasury shares.

Tessellis -- in the green by 0.2 percent -- and GO Internet -- which opens with theoretical upside of 22 percent -- have signed an agreement for Tessellis to invest in GO Internet.

Tessellis, through a possible corporate vehicle, will acquire a trade receivable owed by OpNet to GO Internet and subscribe to a reserved capital increase of GO Internet by offsetting this receivable, up to a maximum amount of approximately EUR3.4 million at a price per share of EUR0.00162.

As a result of the subscription of the reserved capital increase, Tessellis will indirectly acquire a majority stake in GO Internet, and after a mandatory tender offer for the shares of that company, the delisting of GO Internet's shares will be promoted.

Among SMEs, H-Farm -- in the green by 2.2 percent -- reported Thursday that it closed the year ended Aug. 31 with a loss of EUR8.9 million, from a profit of EUR17.7 million in the previous year. For the full year, the value of production stood at EUR36.1 million, down from EUR45.2 million in 2022.

Publishing Company Il Fatto opens up 2.6 percent. The board of directors on Thursday approved an update to the 2024-2026 consolidated business plan.

Following the entry of subsidiary Loft Produzioni Srl into the group's scope in December 2022, the Plan expresses the group's consolidated values.

The board, therefore, estimates a 2024-2026 CAGR1 2024-2026 of consolidated sales and service revenues of 14.9 percent, compared with the estimated CAGR for the three-year period 2023-2025 of 15.3 percent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.1 percent in the red at 33,431.51, the Hang Seng was down 1.1 percent at 16,847.00, and the Shanghai Composite closed fractionally in the green at 3,031.64.

In New York, the Dow Jones closed up 1.5 percent at 35,950.89, the S&P finished in the green by 0.4 percent at 4,567.80 while the Nasdaq closed in the red by 0.2 percent at 14,226.22.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0888 against USD1.0905 recorded at Thursday's European stock close while the pound was worth USD1.2649 from USD1.2642 on Thursday evening.

Brent crude is worth USD80.97 per barrel versus USD80.83 per barrel at Thursday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD2,040.87 an ounce from USD2,038.51 an ounce on Thursday evening.

Friday's macroeconomic calendar features at 0945 CET the Italian manufacturing PMI, followed by France's, Germany's, and concluding at 1000 CET with the Eurozone PMI.

At 1000 CET, the GDP figure from Italy will be in, followed at 1030 CET by the UK manufacturing PMI. At 1230 CET, a speech by ECB President Christine Lagarde is scheduled.

In the US, at 1545 CET, the manufacturing PMI data will be released, while at 1700 CET Federal Reserve Number One Powell will speak. At 1900 CET, the Baker Hughes impants report will be released. At 2130 CET, as usual on Friday, there will be the release of the COT Report.

No special announcements are expected among the companies.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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