(Alliance News) - European stock markets closed Thursday without a single direction, with Milan joining the downside following weakness in U.S. markets, where only the Dow Jones rose slightly at the moment.

A string of weak economic data from Europe and China fueled traders' fears that the global economy is slowing due to high interest rates and weakening demand.

The Eurozone economy grew less than initially estimated in the second quarter, according to official data on Thursday. According to Eurostat data, the single currency area's seasonally adjusted gross domestic product rose 0.1 percent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter. It had grown 0.1 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the last quarter of 2022. The second quarter reading was revised downward from the initial estimate of 0.3 percent.

Oil prices also gave ground as concerns about slowing demand in China-the world's largest importer of fossil fuels- overshadowed the earlier announcement of supply cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Thus, the FTSE Mib closed 0.2 percent in the red at 28,155.58. The Mid-Cap closed down 0.1% to 41,333.15, the Small-Cap down 0.7% to 26,685.28, and the Italy Growth in the red 0.4% to 8,764.21.

In Europe, Paris' CAC 40 closed in fractional green, Frankfurt's DAX 40 down 0.1 percent, and London's FTSE 100 picked up 0.2 percent.

On the Mib, selling on FinecoBank gave up 5.7 percent, despite its numbers in publication. It posted robust net inflows of EUR648 million in August from EUR343 million a year ago, confirming the bank's accelerating growth trajectory thanks to both new customer acquisition and a solid push into investments.

STMicroelectronics, on the other hand, retreated 4.1 percent, in its fifth session ended on the bearish side.

Azimut Holding--down 0.8 percent--reported Thursday that it recorded positive net inflows of EUR529 million in August, reaching EUR4.8 billion since the beginning of the year, with a full-year target of EUR6-8 billion. In August alone, 92 percent of net inflows were directed into asset management products.

Banca Mediolanum--down 0.3 percent--reported Thursday that it reported trading results of EUR387 million in August, of which total net inflows amounted to EUR225 million, bringing the cumulative figure to EUR5.39 billion since the beginning of the year. Net inflows in assets under management amounted to EUR370 million, up 24 percent from August 2022, and corresponds to EUR2.70 billion since the beginning of the year.

Prysmian Group -- up 0.5 percent -- announced Thursday that it has been awarded a new contract worth about EUR630 million awarded by Terna Rete Italia Spa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Terna Spa, the Italian operator of the high- and extra-high-voltage electricity transmission grid.

Hera, meanwhile, advanced 3.2 percent, after four sessions ended among the bearish.

On the Mid-Cap, boost on Tod's, which advanced 3.8% to EUR39.24. On the stock, it is reported that UBS raised its target price to EUR55.00 from EUR53.50 per share.

The buy side also prevails well on Saras, which marked a green of 2.4 percent to EUR1.29 per share. Of note, Marshall Wace cut its short position on the stock to 1.43 percent from 1.53 percent previously.

Gave ground, among many, to Tinexta, which posted minus 7.0% in its fifth bearish session.

Banca Ifis -- down 0.9% -- announced Wednesday of in the evening that it had completed the placement of a EUR300 million senior preferred bond issue aimed at institutional investors. The transaction is part of the EUR5 billion EMTN issuance program as set out in the bank's Business Plan covering the three-year period 2022-24.

On the Small-Cap, good session for Olidata, which took home 14 percent with new price at EUR0.45.

The Italian Sea Group -- up 6.3 percent -- on Thursday reported that its board of directors approved the consolidated half-year financial report as of June 30, which closed with group net income reaching EUR13.6 million compared to EUR7.6 million in the first half of 2022. Consolidated revenues in the first half of 2023 amounted to EUR165.9 million, up 24 percent from EUR133.6 million recorded in the first half of 2022.

Cellularline, on the other hand, gave up 11 percent to EUR2.10 per share, after a 2.5 percent decline on the eve of the day. on Wednesday, it reported figures for the first half of the year, which closed with a net loss of EUR4 million, an improvement from that for EUR43 million as of June 30, 2022. Sales revenue was EUR67.8 million, up from EUR54.6 million in the same period a year earlier.

Sales also prevailed, among the many, on Softlab, which left 5.8 percent on the parterre after a 1.2 percent green on the eve.

Among SMEs, boost on Execus, which advanced 8.2% to EUR3.30 per share.

Good buying also on Esautomotion, which closed up 5.4%, rebounding after two bearish sessions in which it gave up about 10%.

Deodato.Gallery, on the other hand, gave up 6.4 percent to EUR0.50 per share, in its fourth bearish session.

Giglio.Com, on the other hand, gave up 5.0 percent to EUR2.28, in its third bearish session.

Among U.S. exchanges, the Dow Jones is in the green by 0.2%, the S&P down 0.4%, and the Nasdaq is down 1.2%.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0706 against USD1.0715 in Wednesday's closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2485 to USD1.2502 on Wednesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD90.50 per barrel versus USD90.19 per barrel at Wednesday's close. Gold, meanwhile, trades at USD1,919.87 an ounce from USD1,916.47 an ounce on Wednesday evening.

On Friday's economic calendar, at 0150 CEST from Japan is the GDP and current account data, while at 0800 CEST is Germany's inflation data coming in.

From the U.S., at 1600 is the wholesale sales data and at 1900 the Baker Hughes plants report.

At 2230 CEST, as usual on Fridays, the COT report will be released.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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