(Alliance News) - European stock markets mark a mostly bullish opening on Friday, as trading floors prepare to assess Eurozone inflation data due later today for clues on the ECB's monetary policy path, expected to hike rates at its next meeting.

German retail sales -- Europe's top economic force -- declined in April, following an increase in the previous month, new data showed Friday. According to Destatis, German retail sales fell by an annual 0.6 percent in April after increasing by 0.3 percent in March.

Thus, the FTSE Mib is marking a green of 0.1 percent at 34,467.00 points.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is advancing 0.1 percent, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is down 0.2 percent, and Paris' CAC 40 is moving just below par.

Among the smaller listings last night, the Mid-Cap is giving up 0.4 percent to 47,583.04, the Small-Cap is in the red 0.3 percent to 29,332.84, while Italy Growth is advancing 0.2 percent to 8,225.04.

On the Mib, Leonardo is advancing well, with the stock advancing 1.5 percent and price at EUR23.43, following up eve's tentative gain of 0.1 percent.

Banca Monte dei Paschi, on the other hand, advances 1.3 percent, following up on the eve's active close with a plus 2.2 percent.

BPER Banca -- in surplus with 1.3 percent -- on Thursday announced the early closure to Dec. 31, 2024 of its 2022-2025 business plan in light of the early achievement of key economic and financial targets. Thus, the board of directors instructed the CEO to prepare a new 2024-2027 plan.

Italgas -- up 0.1 percent -- reported Thursday that the board of directors analyzed the group's expected operating and financial performance in 2024 and approved the guidance for the year. In detail, the guidance calls for adjusted revenues of about EUR1.8 billion, adjusted Ebitda of between EUR1.32-1.35 billion, and adjusted Ebit of about EUR800 million.

At the tail end, Telecom Italia is giving up 4.1 percent, after eve's green close of plus 1.6 percent.

In the cadet segment, PharmaNutra is advancing 1.0 percent to EUR48.95 per share, after the previous session's 0.7 percent red.

Banca Ifis - up 0.9% - disclosed that Katia Mariotti, current head of the Npl division, has completed the three-year business plan of the same division, and will undertake a new professional position at AMCO - Asset Management Company as of August 3.

Industrie de Nora, on the other hand, is giving up 1.9 percent to EUR12.95 per share, after a 1.7 percent green light on the eve.

Reply, on the other hand, is stepping back 1.7 percent to EUR131.00 per share, following the previous three sessions closed with a bearish candle.

In the SmallCap segment, SIT is advancing 3.2 percent, after two sessions closed in the red.

In contrast, Conafi is advancing 3.0 percent to EUR0.2440, on the heels of a 3.7 percent decline.

Among the negative notes, Gabetti is leaving 3.4% on the parterre, heading for the third session on the bearish side.

For Newlat, on the other hand, the decline is 3.1 percent, subject to profit taking after five bullish sessions.

Among SMEs, strength on Fope, which moves ahead 2.9%, while Imprendiroma advances 2.07%.

DBA Group, on the other hand, gives up 4.0% to EUR2.90, on the heels of eve's 4.1% loss.

In New York last night, the Dow gave up 0.9 percent, the Nasdaq closed down 1.1 percent, and the S&P 500 was 0.6 percent red.

Among Asian exchanges, the Nikkei rose 1.1 percent, the Hang Seng is giving up 0.5 percent, and the Shanghai Composite is marking minus 0.2 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0816 from USD1.0844 on Thursday's European stock close while the pound is worth USD1.2715 from USD1.2745 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude trades at USD81.84 per barrel from USD83.14 per barrel on Thursday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,343.28 an ounce from USD2,344.44 an ounce on Thursday night.

On Friday's macroeconomic calendar, Italy's GDP is due at 1000 CEST and inflation is due at 1100 CEST.

That of the Eurozone will arrive, however, at 1100 CEST, and, an hour later, it will be the turn of Italian industrial sales.

From the U.S., at 1430 CEST will come out the PCE data and the core personal spending price index while from Canada, at the same time, GDP is expected.

In Piazza Affari, Gentili Mosconi's quarterly results and H-Farm's half-yearly report are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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