(Alliance News) - On Wednesday, major European stock markets close in negative territory after hawkish comments from the Fed and a series of macroeconomic data.

Thus, the FTSE Mib closes 1.5 percent in the red at 34,150.54, the Mid-Cap gives up 1.9 percent to 47,253.56, the Small-Cap is 1.2 percent in the red at 28,938.67, and Italy Growth gives up 0.5 percent to 8,214.98.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 ends 0.9 percent in the red, Frankfurt's DAX 40 is down 1.1 percent, and Paris' CAC 40 gives up 1.5 percent.

"Asian, European and U.S. stock indexes fell following the Fed's slightly hawkish comments. The U.S. 2-year yield almost reached 5 percent, the 10-year yield 4.60 percent -- a near four-week high -- while the German 10-year yield peaked in November 2023 at 2.66 percent, exerting downward pressure on equity indexes, most of which fell between half a percent and a percent. Ahead of Friday's U.S. PCE inflation indicator, Australian inflation was stronger than expected and touched a five-month high, virtually ruling out an RBA rate cut this year. In contrast, German inflation was in line with expectations," commented Axel Rudolph, Senior Market Analyst at IG.

"Oil prices, which rose about 4.5 percent from last week's low on expectations that OPEC+ will extend voluntary production cuts in the second half of the year at Sunday's meeting, began to stall near technical resistance. While the gold price gave up some of the gains of the past few days, the silver price was essentially unchanged."

On the Mib, did best of all DiaSorin, up 2.2 percent, followed by Brunello Cucinelli, up 0.3 percent, as did Unipol and Pirelli.

Down goes Prysmian, down 1.6 percent, after it announced Wednesday that it has received antitrust clearance in the U.S. to acquire Encore Wire.

Completion of the deal remains conditional on the approval of Encore Wire's shareholders, representing at least a majority of the voting capital, and the fulfillment of other conditions precedent typical for this type of transaction.

Snam -- in the red by 0.6 percent -- announced Tuesday that it has signed a new Sustainability-linked credit facility, for a total amount of EUR1 billion, in accordance with the group's new Sustainable Finance Framework published last February.

The revolving credit line has a maturity of three years and is linked to specific sustainability targets whose achievement by Snam determines the margin applicable to the loan.

Intesa Sanpaolo gives up 2.8 percent after announcing Monday that the EUR1.7 billion buyback program, already authorized by the European Central Bank and approved by shareholders, will be launched on June 3.

The bank will be able to buy back up to a maximum of 1.00 billion of its own ordinary shares, and the plan will end by October 25, 2024.

On the cadet segment, Fincantieri -- in the red by 2.8 percent -- reported on Friday that the U.S. Department of Defense awarded its U.S. subsidiary, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, the EUR1.00 billion-plus contract to build the fifth and sixth "Constellation" class frigates for the U.S. Navy.

The contract for the first frigate and option for nine additional ships, signed in 2020, has a total value of about EUR5.5 billion and includes after-sales support and crew training.

Maire Tecnimont gives up 5.0%. The company announced Thursday that a consortium comprising subsidiary Tecnimont - Integrated E&C Solutions and Baker Hughes has been awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction contract by Sonatrach for the construction of three compressor stations, as well as the upgrading of the gas gathering system, at the Hassi R'mel gas field, 550 kilometers south of Algiers.

The total value of the contract is approximately USD2.3 billion, of which Tecnimont is responsible for USD1.7 billion.

Among smallcaps, Softlab rises 5.5 percent after approving its draft consolidated financial statements as of Dec. 31, 2023, closing with a loss of EUR400,000 compared to a profit of EUR3.2 million in FY 2022.

Revenues earned in FY 2023 were EUR24 million, a slight increase from EUR23.7 million in FY 2022.

Tessellis -- in the red by 1.4 percent -- and GO internet -- down by 0.8 percent -- announced on Monday that the remaining conditions precedent stipulated under the investment agreement signed between Tessellis, OpNet and GO internet for the realization of Tessellis' previously announced investment transaction in GO internet had been fulfilled. The companies, therefore, agreed to proceed with the closing of the transaction.

The agreement provided that, Tessellis, through a possible corporate vehicle, would acquire a trade receivable owed by OpNet to GO Internet and subscribe to a reserved capital increase of GO Internet by offsetting this receivable, up to a maximum amount of approximately EUR3.4 million.

Triboo rises 0.5 percent after it announced Tuesday that Triboo Shanghai and East Media, a group company, have supported Italian luxury footwear brand P448 in its entry into the Chinese market.

In addition to the opening of an online flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, the brand also plans to open physical stores and position itself on China's main social channels to encourage greater localization of its communication. "This strategic move represents a significant advancement in P448's global expansion and digital strategy," reads the company's statement.

Triboo Shanghai will manage the flagship store on Tmall and will coordinate P448's presence on key Chinese social platforms through collaboration with communications agencies East Media and Attila.

Among SMEs, Ecosuntek - in the red by 4.2 percent - reported Wednesday that it ended 2023 with a profit of EUR3.9 million, down from EUR8.5 million in 2022.

Revenues dropped to EUR493.0 million from EUR906.6 million a year earlier. "This decrease is due exclusively to the reduction in the cost of raw material energy and gas in Italy during the reporting period," the company notes in a statement.

Espe rises 3.6 percent after announcing Wednesday that it has won an order for the construction of a 9.2 MWp ground-mounted photovoltaic plant worth EUR5 million.

The installation is scheduled for completion by the first quarter of 2025.

Xenia Hotellerie Solution gives up 0.7 percent after reporting the acquisition of the hotel company Hotel Cavalieri di Bra.

The hotel, located in the heart of the Langhe, a few kilometers from Alba and Turin, is a four-star hotel of a high standard and, with its 88 rooms, a conference center, and a well-positioned restaurant, allows it to intercept a wide mix of customers. The property has recorded revenues of about EUR1.8 million per year in recent years and will take on the name Phi Hotel Cavalieri from June 5, 2024.

In New York, the Dow is down 0.9 percent, the Nasdaq is down 0.4 percent, and the S&P 500 gives up 0.7 percent.

Among currencies, the euro changes hands at USD1.0815 from USD1.0876 on Wednesday in closing European equities while the pound is worth USD1.2708 from USD1.2778 on Wednesday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is trading at USD83.62 per barrel from USD83.86 per barrel on Wednesday. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD2,340.30 an ounce from USD2,359.12 an ounce on Tuesday evening.

Thursday's macroeconomic calendar opens with Swiss GDP at 0900 CEST, Spanish inflation also arrives at the same time, while at 1000 CEST from Italy the monthly unemployment rate and consumer price index are released.

At 1100 CEST it is the turn of the unemployment rate and consumer confidence in the Eurozone.

Overseas, at 1430 CEST, come the continuing unemployment claims and U.S. GDP.

Among the companies listed in Piazza Affari, the results of MeglioQuesto are expected.

By Claudia Cavaliere, Alliance News reporter

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