(Alliance News) - Stock markets opened lower Friday, confirming the trend seen in the trades leading up to the sounding of the bell, after aggressive rhetoric from the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve weakened risk appetite in global equity markets.

The Fed stands ready, if necessary, to raise interest rates further to bring inflation back to its long-term goal of 2 percent, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said. "We know that progress toward our 2 percent goal is not guaranteed: inflation has given us some illusions," Powell said at a conference in Washington.

"If it becomes appropriate to tighten policy further, we will not hesitate to do so," he added. "Although the Fed's rate committee is "committed" to reaching a sufficiently tight monetary policy stance, "we are not sure that we have reached that stance," Powell said.

On the macro front, it is reported that the UK economy stalled in the third quarter, posting its weakest performance in four quarters, but beating forecasts that had estimated a 0.1 percent contraction, according to early estimates.

The FTSE Mib, therefore, marks a 0.5 percent red at 28,507.15.

Among the smaller lists, the Mid-Cap is retreating 0.7 percent to 40,730.67, the Small-Cap in the red 1.2 percent to 25,261.90, and Italy Growth marks a red 0.3 percent to 7,636.26.

Paris's CAC 40 is giving up 0.6 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is contracting 0.4 percent, and London's FTSE 100 is giving up 0.5 percent.

On the main list in Piazza Affari, CNH Industrial is giving up 2.5 percent and continuing its bearish streak.

Rear-ends also for Campari, which is contracting 2.2 percent after eve's gain of 0.6 percent.

Pirelli - down 0.8 percent - reported Thursday that its board of directors reviewed its consolidated results as of Sept. 30 reporting a net profit of EUR168.4 million in the last quarter, 33 percent higher from EUR126.3 million in Q3 2022.

Leonardo -- down 1.6 percent -- reported Thursday that it ended the first nine months with orders of EUR13.28 billion, up 15 percent from EUR11.72 billion in the same period a year earlier. Revenues increased to EUR10.27 billion from EUR9.92 billion a year earlier, thanks in part to a significant recovery in Aerostructures, up 32 percent from the first nine months of 2022, and the performance of Defense and Security Electronics. Revenues for the period rose to EUR1.72 billion from EUR1.84 billion million with organic growth of 2.2 percent excluding the exchange rate effect, which weighed 8.4 percent.

Inwit -- in the green by 0.4 percent -- reported Thursday that it closed the first nine months with revenues of EUR713.2 million from EUR632.5 million in the same period a year earlier. Ebitda rose to EUR653.2 million from EUR575.1 million, with margin up to 91.6 percent from 90.9 percent a year earlier, Ebit improved to EUR374.4 million from EUR303.6 million, and Ebitdaal increased to EUR506.9 million from EUR429.4 million.

Doing best of all is Banco BPM, which takes the top spot on the list with a 1.2 percent asset at EUR5.13, touching during trading a new 52-week high at EUR5.14.

On the cadet segment, good start for illimity Bank, which moves ahead 1.7 percent after publishing good accounts for the nine months. The bank reported net income of EUR75.0 million from EUR50.6 million, up 58 percent from the same period a year earlier. As of September 30, net interest income stood at EUR147.7 million, up 27 percent to EUR116.1 million in 2022.

Webuild's board of directors -- in the money with 1.4 percent -- reported Thursday that in the first nine months of the year, it recorded a record EUR22 billion in new orders. Of these, more than EUR12.6 billion of the new orders came from abroad-Australia, the U.S. and the Middle East-while orders from Italy totaled EUR9.4 billion.

Antares, on the other hand, is giving up 3.3 percent to EUR3.03 per share, after two sessions closed on the upside in which it accumulated a 9 percent gain.

The board of directors of Ascopiave -- in the red by 2.5 percent -- met Thursday and approved the interim report for the nine months ended September 30, closing with a consolidated net profit, amounting to EUR14.4 million, and showing a reduction compared to the same period last year, when it was EUR25.3 million. The Ascopiave Group closed the first nine months with consolidated revenues of EUR125.2 million, compared to EUR120.0 million recorded in the first nine months of 2022.

On the SmallCap, Datalogic -- down more than 11 percent -- reported Thursday that it closed the first nine months with revenues down to EUR417.0 million from EUR476.5 million in the same period a year earlier, with declines recorded in all geographic areas in which it operates.

Aquafil, on the other hand, is giving up 8.3 percent to EUR2.20 per share, after declining accounts released on the eve of the meeting. It posted a loss in the first nine months, with a net loss of EUR17.1 million, which compares with a profit of EUR26.1 million in the same period last year.

Digital Bros -- down 6.4 percent -- announced Thursday that it closed the first quarter of fiscal 2023-2024 with a net loss of EUR3.1 million compared to a net profit of EUR3.1 million as of September 30, 2022. Revenues for the first quarter amounted to EUR20.2 million, down 9.7 percent from EUR22.4 million in the same period of 2022.

On a positive note, SoftLab moves ahead 6.0 percent to EUR1.5055, following eve's contraction with 5.9 percent.

Among SMEs, Convergences is giving up 5.3 percent touching a 52-week low of EUR1.41.

Svas Biosana -- down 0.9 percent -- reported Thursday that its revenues rose to EUR81.6 million from EUR69.5 million in the same period a year earlier.

Among the bullish, expert.ai advances 3.5 percent after a 2.5 percent loss in the eve.

Italia Independent, on the other hand, marks a plus 2.9 percent, after eve's contraction of more than 10 percent.

In New York overnight Europe, the Dow Jones gave up 0.7 percent, the S&P contracted 0.8 percent, and the Nasdaq left 0.9 percent on the parterre.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0675 against USD1.0708 recorded at Thursday's European stock close, while the pound was worth USD1.2228 from USD1.2273 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD80.50 per barrel from USD80.70 per barrel at yesterday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD1,955.46 an ounce from USD1,962.33 an ounce last night.

Friday's macroeconomic calendar calls for Italian industrial production at 1000 CET.

At 1110 CET there will be auctions of 3- and 7-year BTPs while at 1600 CET the Michigan confidence index is expected.

In Piazza Affari, a day packed with results, including Interpump Group and Tinexta.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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