(Alliance News) - European stock markets headed for a downward opening Friday as traders assess the prospects that the Fed is likely to keep interest rates higher for longer, as well as evaluate mixed economic data from China.

In Europe, investors will assess the final Eurozone inflation reading for April.

The FTSE Mib-after closing Thursday up 0.1 percent to 35,410.13-is marking a decline of 47.50 points.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is marking a decline of 5.00 points, Paris' CAC 40 is giving up 29.00 points, and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is giving up 27.60 points.

Among the smaller listings last night, the Mid-Cap fell 0.2 percent to 48,394.73, the Small-Cap fell 0.3 percent to 29,506.86, and Italy Growth lost 0.3 percent to 8,224.39.

On the Mib last night, BPER Banca - up 3.2% - reported that it had successfully completed the placement of its second "green" qualified senior preferred bond issue. The amount placed was EUR500 million, with a seven-year maturity and the possibility of early redemption after six years.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena rose 2.1 percent. The bank announced Wednesday that rating agency Moody's Ratings upgraded the bank's ratings by one notch, raising, among others, the standalone Baseline Credit Assessment to 'ba2' from 'ba3,' the long-term deposit rating to 'Baa3' from 'Ba1,' and the long-term senior unsecured debt to 'Ba2' from 'Ba3.

"Moody's upgrade reflects the bank's improved creditworthiness in recent years, as well as the strengthening of its solvency and re-established ability to generate profits, partly due to the EUR2.5 billion capital increase and the favorable interest rate environment," the bank points out.

Snam's board of directors -- up 0.1 percent -- on Thursday announced that it had approved consolidated results for the first quarter of 2024, a period that ended with a reported net profit of EUR337 million from EUR304 million in the first quarter of 2023. Total revenues were EUR895 million, down from EUR912 million in Q1 2023. "Increased regulated revenues related to the implementation of the investment plan, increased WACC and higher output-based incentives; declined revenues from the energy efficiency business, particularly in residential," the released note said.

STMicroelectronics fell 0.4 percent to EUR38.8450 per share, reversing a five-session bullish trend.

At the back of the pack, Eni lost 2.2 percent, in its third bearish session in a row. The shareholders' meeting authorized the board of directors to proceed with share buyback until the end of April 2025. The maximum number of shares to be purchased is 328.0 million ordinary shares for a total outlay of up to EUR3.5 billion.

On the Mid-Cap, BFF Bank rose 2.9 percent after two bearish sessions. The stock on a weekly basis lost more than 16% capitalization.

GVS -- up 6.9 percent -- reported Tuesday that it ended the quarter with net income of EUR9.9 million, up 7.7 percent from EUR2.5 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenues amounted to EUR105.4 million from EUR104.9 million in the first quarter of 2023.

Iren's board of directors -- up 0.4 percent -- approved consolidated results as of March 31 on Wednesday, ending the period with a group net profit attributable to shareholders of EUR122.2 million, down nearly 10 percent from last year's result in the same period.

El.En., on the other hand, gave up 14 percent after approving its interim report as of March 31, with a positive pre-tax result of EUR14.4 million and registering a 13 percent decrease from EUR16.6 million as of March 31, 2023.

d'Amico, on the other hand, lost 12 percent. The stock-which has increased market cap by more than 20 percent since the beginning of 2024-follows the eve's decline that closed with minus 0.7 percent.

On the Small-Cap, Conafi gained 12 percent, ending the fifth session in a row among the bullish.

Datalogic rose 7.9 percent. The company reported Wednesday that it closed the first quarter with a profit of EUR6.0 million up sharply from EUR3.2 million in the first three months of 2023 thanks to proceeds realized from the sale of Informatics Holdings, Inc. Revenues amounted to EUR111.3 million, down from EUR145.5 million in the first three months of the previous year.

The board of directors of Trevi Finanziaria Industriale -- down 1.8 percent -- reviewed business performance in the first three months of 2024, in which it recorded new orders of EUR128.3 million. At the end of March 2024, the group's order backlog was up to EUR755 million, up 4.9 percent from December 31, 2023.

Unidata rose 1.1 percent after reporting an increase in quarterly profit to EUR3.3 million from EUR3.1 million as of March 31, 2023.

Among SMEs, Datrix rose 4.6 percent after announcing a significant new strategic agreement with Direct Channel, a subsidiary of Mondadori Media, part of the Mondadori Group. The agreement calls for the integration of the MobiLit software platform of Paperlit, a Datrix Group company that is already a partner of Direct Channel, with digital solutions for the management and sale of online subscriptions developed by the latter.

Edil San Felice rose 6.9 percent, following up Wednesday's 3.1 percent gain.

iVision Tech gained 8.3 percent, ending the third session in a row higher. The SME on Tuesday approved some key management figures to March 31, 2024, with Ebitda rising in absolute terms by 10% from EUR470,000 in the first quarter of 2023 to EUR510,000 as of March 31, 2024.

Among the bearish, CrowdFundMe fell, in the red by 4.8% and the worst stock of the day.

In New York on the European evening, the Dow gave up 0.1 percent, the Nasdaq gave up 0.3 percent, and the S&P 500 left 0.2 percent on the parterre.

Among Asian exchanges, the Hang Seng is picking up 0.5 percent, the Shanghai Composite marks a green of 0.2 percent, while the Nikkei left 0.4 percent on the parterre.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0866 from USD1.0870 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2666 from USD1.2669 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD83.78 per barrel from USD83.17 per barrel Thursday night. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,385.32 an ounce from USD2,372.24 an ounce on Thursday night.

On Friday's macroeconomic calendar, wait for the Eurozone inflation figure, due at 1100 CEST.

In the afternoon, in the U.S., eyes on the Federal Reserve's Daly and Waller speeches while, at 1900 CEST, Baker Hughes drilling rig data will arrive.

Among the companies in the Piazza Affari, results from Imprendiroma, Masi Agricola and Triboo are expected.

By Maurizio Carta, Alliance News reporter

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