(Alliance News) - Old Continent equity markets are positioned for a mixed opening, with Milan bullish, as investors await June manufacturing and services PMI data from almost the entire European region to assess the economy and its outlook.

European stocks advanced Thursday after the Swiss National Bank made its second quarter-point rate cut this year, while the Bank of England, despite confirming the rate, said it was ready to ease monetary policy soon.

Thus, the FTSE Mib-after closing in the green by 1.4 percent at 33,675.15 last night-is advancing 52.50 points.

Among the smaller listings last night, the Mid-Cap finished in the green by 1.6 percent at 47,591.28, the Small-Cap picked up 1.5 percent to 29,100.09, and Italy Growth gained 0.3 percent to 8,136.71.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is just below par as is Paris' CAC 40, while Frankfurt's DAX 40 is advancing 16.30 points.

In Piazza Affari last night, the blue chip list was almost entirely tinged with green, with Iveco Group being the only stock to finish down 0.1 percent.

Stellantis - in the green by 0.5 percent - reported a drop in European sales in May, in line with the negative trend in the performance of the European market, where registrations fell 3.0 percent year-on-year to 912,000 units, a sharp reversal from the 13.7 percent increase in the previous month.

Leonardo - in the green by 0.9% - announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its outright stake in Industria Italiana Autobus to Seri Industrial. Under the deal, Seri Industrial will take over 98% of the share capital while the remaining 2% will continue to be held by Invitalia, already a partner together with Leonardo in Industria Italiana Autobus.

Eni--up 1.7 percent--reported Thursday that Greenpeace and ReCommon have asked for a suspension of the climate lawsuit filed last year. The associations requested the suspension following the filing of a jurisdictional settlement complaint.

"Jurisdiction that had already been ruled out in the well-known Giudizio Universale lawsuit, brought by the world of associations against the Italian state, again on climate issues," the company specified in a note.

Intesa Sanpaolo closed in the green by 1.0 percent. Of note, ODDO BHF raised its target price to EUR4.40 with 'outperform' title.

On the Mid-Cap, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore closed on top with a rise of over 8.5 percent after Equita upgraded recommendation to 'buy' from 'hold' by raising the target price to EUR3.20.

Sesa follows with an 8.2 percent gain after announcing Thursday that it closed the year to April 30 with consolidated revenues and other income of EUR3.21 billion from EUR2.90 billion in 2023 and marking a 10 percent growth.

Maire Tecnimont - in the green by 1.5 percent - announced Thursday that NextChem, through its subsidiary NextChem Tech, will act as Technology Design Integrator to develop the Process Design Package for the hydrogen and carbon dioxide recovery unit of the Hail and Ghasha development project.

On the Small- Cap, Italian Exhibitoin Group did best of all, up 16 percent green followed by Eems Italy at 9.0 percent, Monrif up 8.0 percent and doValue, up 7.3 percent green. The company announced Thursday that following the announcement of the binding agreement to acquire Gardant, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings confirmed the company's Issuer Credit Rating and Issuer Default Rating at 'BB,' with a Stable outlook. The rating and outlook confirmation reflect expectations that the integration of Gardant will enable doValue to reduce leverage, according to the released note.

Among SMEs, FOS, in the green by 0.8 percent, on Thursday announced the awarding of the "ITACA - Air's Lightest Mobile Telecommunication Infrastructure for the Alpine Context" project under the "iNEST-Interconnected Northeast Innovation Ecosystem" Research and Innovation Program, funded by the Ministry of University and Research.

The 15-month project, in partnership with lead partner MAVTech, involves a total investment of about EUR250,000, in which, FOS will invest about EUR150,000, of which about EUR100,000 will come from the Next Generation EU fund for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

SolidWorld Group -- in the red by 0.9 percent -- announced that it has set the option ratio for the capital increase, which will involve the issuance of a total of a maximum of 811,250 new ordinary shares at a subscription price of EUR2.80 and for a maximum offering value of EUR2.3 million.

For every 1 ordinary share held, 1 option right will be assigned with the issuance of a total of 15.4 option rights, taking into account the 119,425 treasury shares in the company's portfolio to date and subject to the waiver by shareholders Prime and Al.ca of 97,940 and 48,970 respectively for a total of 146,910 option rights, which is necessary to square the transaction.

Dxor Investments, the controlling shareholder of Altea Green Power -- in the red by 0.7 percent -- on Thursday successfully completed the sale of 750,000 ordinary shares, equal to 4.33 percent of the share capital, in order to enable Altea Green Power to have the minimum free float for access to Euronext STAR Milan as a result of the translisting process currently underway.

The shares were placed on the market through an accelerated bookbuilding procedure reserved for qualified investors in Italy and institutional investors abroad.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0717 from USD1.0718 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound was worth USD1.0717 from USD1.2675 on Thursday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude trades at USD85.68 per barrel from USD85.40 per barrel at Thursday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,363 an ounce from USD2,369.60 last night.

In New York, the Dow Jones gained 0.8 percent, the Nasdaq gave up 0.8 percent, and the S&P 500 slipped 0.3 percent.

Among Asian exchanges, the Nikkei gave up 0.1 percent, the Hang Seng is giving up 1.4 percent, and the Shanghai Composite is flexing 0.2 percent.

Friday's macroeconomic calendar features UK Retail Sales while between 0915 CEST and 1030 CEST the Composite, Manufacturing and Services PMIs in France, Germany, Eurozone and UK are due.

At 1300 CEST, the Spanish Consumer Confidence Index is expected and at 1430 CEST, retail sales and the commodity price index will come out from Canada.

PMIs will also come in from the U.S., at 1545 CEST, covering the manufacturing and services sectors, along with the Composite.

In Piazza Affari, no special events are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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