(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari closed slightly higher in the last session of the week leading up to the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings, with the Milanese bluechip list setting the bar slightly higher by confirming the 28,800-point level.

On Friday, in the CME Group platform's FedWatch Tool, using futures also based on the actual federal funds rate or EFFR, confirmation of the rate at the July 26 meeting has a near-zero probability in the 500/525 bps range. In contrast, the 25 bps hike in the 525/550 bps target is priced well above 99 percent.

At the same time, the ECB has made it clear that it will raise interest rates this month, although Eurotower officials have said there is no unanimous consensus on the need for further rate hikes by September in the current macroeconomic environment. Inflation in the currency bloc slowed to a 17-month low of 5.5 percent in June, but the core rate remained high at 5.4 percent, still close to the all-time high of 5.7 percent seen in March.

The FTSE Mib was up 0.1 percent to 28,855.09, the Mid-Cap gave up 0.2 percent to 42,149.54, the Small-Cap finished 0.1 percent in the red to 26,673.69, and Italy Growth fell 0.2 percent to 9,064.34.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 rallied 0.2 percent, Paris' CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 gave up 0.2 percent.

Recordati led Piazza Affari blue chips up 5.0 percent the day after announcing that it has signed an agreement with GSK to market Avodart Combodart/Duodart in 21 countries, mainly in Europe, excluding those where GSK already has distribution agreements in place. Avodart and Combodart/Duodart are products marketed in an oral formulation and indicated for the treatment of symptoms, moderate to severe, of benign prostatic hyperplasia and for reducing the risk of acute urinary retention and surgery in patients with moderate to severe symptoms of BPH. Recordati will make an up-front payment of EUR245 million, and will gradually begin reporting revenues and margins on a country-by-country basis following the completion of the necessary transition activities.

Strength also on Inwit stock, which took home 1.1 percent, rearing its head after two bearish sessions.

Also doing well was Pirelli, which posted a plus 0.3% at EUR4.84, its fourth straight session on the bullish side.

Banca Generali picked up 0.8 percent to EUR32.77. Of note, Barclays raised its target price to EUR33.70 from EUR32.00 with 'equal weight' title.

In the rear - among the minority of bearish stocks - Leonardo marked a 1.7 percent red, after a 0.3 percent green on eve.

STMicrolectronics, on the other hand, closed down 1.1 percent, on the heels of its 1.5 percent retreat on eve.

On the Mid-Cap, Buzzi led the bullish with a 2.5% green with price at EUR24.42. The stock touched a new 52-week high at EUR24.60.

Good buying also on CIR, which stretched 2.3 percent by rearing its head again after four sessions ended among the bearish. The company is continuing with its buyback plan, where it most recently announced that it has purchased its own ordinary shares for a total value of EUR212,000 or so.

Salcef, on the other hand, advanced 1.8 percent, following the eve's decline with 0.4 percent.

Negative notes included WIIT, down 2.6 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent loss in the previous session.

Sales also on Intercos, placing the stock in the lower quarters with a 2.3% contraction on the heels of the eve's 1.0% loss.

Sesa, on the other hand, gave up 3.0%. The company Tuesday reported that it had reported revenues of EUR2.90 billion as of April 30 from EUR2.38 billion a year earlier and up 21 percent. In addition, the company disclosed that it ended the year with adjusted net income attributable to the group of EUR100.1 million, up 21% annually from EUR82.7 million as of April 30, 2022. Net income was EUR90.2 million from EUR78.6 million as of April 30, 2022. Ebitda was EUR209.4 million from EUR167.7 million, the year before.

On the Small-Cap, good session for Restart, which brought home assets of more than 12 percent after 1.4 percent assets on the eve.

High quarters also for doValue, which took home 3.6 percent putting in its fourth straight session among the bullish.

PLC--up 1.1 percent--reported Friday that its subsidiary PLC Service has been awarded revamping work on 19 plants held by vehicles controlled by Acea Sun Capital, a company 60 percent owned by British private equity fund Equitix and 40 percent by Acea Group. The contracts - worth EUR12 million - cover turnkey revamping activities, including the supply of major components, including photovoltaic panels. There are 19 plants covered by the assignment, all located in Puglia and only one in Marche.

GPI's board of directors -- up 0.6 percent -- on Friday reviewed preliminary consolidated figures for the first half of 2023, in which it reported consolidated revenues of more than EUR190 million, up from EUR168.9 million in the year-ago period. Consolidated EBITDA was EUR24.5 million compared to EUR17.3 million in the first half of 2022.

On a negative note, I Grandi Viaggi left 2.7 percent on the parterre, closing for the third session in a row with a negative balance.

Banca Sistema gave up 1.9 percent, priced at EUR1.22, on the heels of eve's 2.4 percent red. The stock had previously come from two positive sessions.

Among SMEs, Clabo advanced 5.6 percent, in its fourth session on the bullish side.

Datrix, on the other hand, picked up 7.5 percent to EUR2.88, on its third bullish session.

Bellini Nautica, on the other hand, picked up 4.3%, rearing its head again after four bearish sessions.

At the tail end, Franchetti posted minus 6.6 percent, reversing a six-session bullish trend.

Tail of the list also for Gismondi 1754, which marks a minus 5.7 percent repositioning its price at EUR5.80.

In New York, the Dow Jones is in the green by 0.2 percent, the Nasdaq rises 0.1 percent, and the S&P 500 is in the green by 0.3 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.1121 against USD1.1140 in Thursday's European stock close while the pound is instead worth USD1.2852 from USD1.2849 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD80.51 per barrel versus USD78.97 per barrel at Thursday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD1,960.00 an ounce from USD1,970.28 an ounce last night.

On Monday's macroeconomic calendar, the manufacturing PMI for France, Germany, and the Eurozone arrives between 0915 CEST and 1000 CEST, while at 1030 CEST it will be the turn of the UK PMI.

From the States, the manufacturing PMI arrives at 1545 CEST, a 3- and 6-month Treasury bond auction is scheduled at 1730 CEST, while at 1900 CEST the maturity at auction will be the 2-year maturity.

Among the companies, coming up are the re-sults of Autostrade Meridionali, Cofle, Farmacosmo, GEL, Grifal, Italgas, Poste Italiane, Sogefi and Take Off.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News senior reporter

Comments and questions to redazione@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2023 Alliance News IS Italian Service Ltd. All rights reserved.