(Alliance News) - Piazza Affari continued to lose ground in mid-session Friday, with most blue chips in negative territory and renewed geopolitical tensions in the Middle East continuing to weigh on investor sentiment.

The FTSE Mib is down 0.8 percent to 33,598.61, the Mid-Cap gives up 1.0 percent to 45,935.62, the Small-Cap loses 1.0 percent to 27,677.33, and Italy Growth is in the red 0.1 percent to 8,018.36.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 is down 0.7 percent to 7,819.77, Paris' CAC 40 gives up 0.7 percent to 7,966.86 and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is down 0.9 percent to 17,684.74.

Back in Milan, on the Mib, Terna leads the bullish few with a 0.6 percent increase.

Doing worse than all is Saipem, down 3.2%, complicit in tensions between Israel and Iran. The other oil majors, Tenaris and Eni, also lose ground in mid-session, down 1.7 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Stellantis gives up 1.1 percent. The company reported that sales fell in Europe in March, in line with the negative trend in the performance of the European market, where registrations fell 5.2% year-on-year.

As data from ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, showed Thursday, the merged giant of PSA Groupe and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted an 8.7 percent drop compared to March 2023, with market share falling to 16.5 percent in March from 17.6 percent in March 2023.

Banca Monte dei Paschi gives up 0.7 percent after rising 3.1 percent in Thursday's session. Rocca Salimbeni announced that it has completed the placement of a EUR750 million five-year covered bond issue.

As the bank explains, this is the first European covered bond issue carried out by the bank after the transposition of the European harmonization directive on covered bonds. In detail, orders exceeded EUR2.3 billion with coupon at the 3.5 percent level and at a re-offer price of 99.919 percent.

UniCredit -- in the red by 0.7 percent -- announced Friday that it will exercise its option to fully redeem USD1.25 billion non-cumulative temporary write-down deeply subordinated fixed rate resettable bonds.

The lender received approval to proceed from the European Central Bank. The early redemption of the securities will take place at par, together with accrued and unpaid interest. Interest will cease to accrue on the same date of early redemption, June 3.

Poste Italiane--declining 0.7 percent--reported Thursday that the board had proposed to shareholders authorization to purchase 3.5 million of its own ordinary shares.

The shares, equal to 0.3 percent of Poste's share capital, can be bought back at a maximum of EUR56 million. The buyback program will last for a maximum of 18 months.

On the Mid-Cap, MFE's class A and B shares are up 2.0 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. The group's fiscal year 2023 financial results, approved by the board of directors on Wednesday, are well above the company's estimates from the beginning of the year. Net income - excluding the accounting impact arising in the two fiscal years from the contribution of the stake in Prosiebensat1 - is positive at EUR217.5 million, up 18 percent from EUR184.7 million in 2022.

OVS -- up 1.6 percent -- reported Thursday that it ended the year ended Jan. 31, 2024, with a reported net profit of EUR52.4 million, up from EUR39.6 million in the same period last year. The board of directors proposed a dividend of EUR0.07 from EUR0.06 as of Jan. 31, 2023. Net sales stood at EUR1.54 billion from EUR1.51 billion as of January 31, 2023.

d'Amico gives up 0.3 percent after announcing Wednesday that its operating subsidiary, d'Amico Tankers DAC, has entered into a construction contract with Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, China, to purchase two new 'Long Range' tankers at a contract price of USD55.4 million each. The company expects these two new ships to be delivered in September and November 2027, respectively.

Juventus Football Club - in the red by 2.7 percent - announced on Wednesday evening that, with reference to the arbitration judgment instituted by former player Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro against the company, the Arbitration Board transmitted to the parties the award rendered in the dispute, stipulating that the company is obliged to pay a sum of approximately EUR9.8 million. The figure corresponds to half of the former member's demand of about EUR19.6 million.

On the Small-Cap, Bialetti Industrie rose 0.4 percent after reporting that it ended 2023 with revenues up 6.1 percent to EUR141.2 million from EUR133.1 million a year earlier.

Ebitda increased to EUR19.2 million from EUR16.1 million a year earlier while operating income rose to EUR14.9 million from EUR11.1 million in 2022.

IGD falls 1.4 percent after announcing Thursday that its board of directors, appointed earlier in the day by the shareholders' meeting for the three-year period 2024 - 2026, elected Antonio Rizzi as chairman of the board, Edy Gambetti as vice chairman, and Roberto Zoia as CEO and general manager.

Among SMEs, Eles rises 1.9 percent after it reported Thursday that ATS Engineering, SEMI Test Laboratory in Israel, an investee company of the group since 2019, announced that it has signed with iNPACK - PCB Technologies Company -, a joint venture to establish the first Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly And Test in the Middle East.

Dotstay--not affected by the exchanges--reported Thursday that, in the first quarter, properties under property management fell by two units from the end of 2023 and by six units from the end of 2022, to 14.

Directly leased properties, on the other hand, decreased by two units compared to Dec. 31 and increased by 34 units compared to the end of 2022. The total balance shows a decline of four units on a quarterly basis and an increase of 28 units from the end of 2022.

Promotica still does not trade after announcing Friday that it will support, in collaboration with the company In Action, the loyalty program of the well-known Molise pasta maker La Molisana that aims to strengthen the community of Tenacious Lovers and at the same time entertain and build loyalty among the public.

In this project, Promotica was responsible for the set up of the platform for the activation of the different initiates that will be promoted during the year, such as consortia, profiling surveys, and will take care of the development services related to the IT platform for customer engagement, profiling and loyalty activities.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 2.7 percent to 37,068.35, the Shanghai Composite gave up 0.3 percent to 3,065.26, and the Hang Seng was down 1.0 percent to 16,224.14.

In New York, the Dow closed Thursday up 0.1 percent to 37,775.38, the Nasdaq fell 0.5 percent to 15,601.50 and the S&P 500 lost 0.2 percent to 5,011.12.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0652 from USD1.0663 on Thursday in closing European equities while the pound was worth USD1.2445 from USD1.2464 last night.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD87.18 a barrel from USD87.16 a barrel last night and gold trades at USD2,383.50 an ounce from USD2,379.05 an ounce Thursday night.

Friday's macro calendar in the US includes Baker Hughes drilling rig data, due at 1900 CEST.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

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