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News&Previews: Piazza Affari slipped once again on the selling side and ended with generalized losses

by Corrado Poggi

A sudden U-turn late in the afternoon sent Piazza Affari reeling on Tuesday as financial stocks, which had been soaring the day before, found themselves once again on the selling side and ended with generalized losses.

While the creation of the Atlante investment fund backed by the country’s biggest banks and other investors to backstop rights issues and provide a buyer for pools of bad loans was seen as a positive development, investors wondered whether this will suffice without the long-promised overhaul of the bankruptcy system, which is needed to allow the recovery work on bad loans to really begin.

The reaction was therefore to sell the stocks that had strongly performed on Monday. Among these UniCredit (-5.15%), Intesa Sanpaolo (-4.11%), Bpm (-3.65%), Ubi Banca (-4.40%) and Bper (-3.99%) paid the steepest price.

Among other blue chips, Telecom Italia (-4.73%), Exor (-4.28%) and Anima Holding (-3.53%) also suffered significant losses while Mediaset (+2.62%) kept its rising trend since inking a deal with Vivendi to merge their pay-per-view businesses. Volatility is likely to remain very high this morning but a support might come from oil prices which gained 3% yesterday after international news agency Interfax reported that Saudi Arabia and Russia have reached a consensus to freeze oil production.

The Markets in numbers

At the ring of the closing bell, the FTSE Mib index was down 1.57% while total turnover was €2.97 billion versus €2.40 billion on Monday. The total number of trades was 333,032. Stocks traded on the broader FTSE All Share – which closed down 1.39% - were 317 of which 109 ended higher while 193 recorded a loss. 15 stocks were unchanged. The top 5 most traded stocks by turnover of the day were Unicredit, Intesa Sanpaolo, Eni, Enel and Telecom Italia.

Top Movers

Yoox Net-A-Porter Group was one of the few big groups which defied gravity on Tuesday managing to end the session up 3.52% at €26.5 with market capitalization swelling to €2.25 billion. The stock received a strong push by the news of the wholesale deal signed by Net-A-Porter with the iconic American Jeweler Tiffany. According to a press release, the arrangement will have some selections from Tiffany’s “T collection” available via Net-a-Porter starting April 27 and for a limited time. It will be the Tiffany brand's only global wholesale channel. The Net-a-Porter partnership will expand Tiffany’s brand e-commerce reach from 13 countries to 170.

Italy24 Watch

While it ended the day down about 2%, Mediobanca received good news during the session as Fitch affirmed its rating of BBB+ with stable outlook. According to the New York based group, the rating reflects Mediobanca’s adequate capitalization and leverage, “which are maintained with satisfactory buffers over regulatory minimums and are commensurate with the bank’s risk profile.” Furthermore Mediobanca also benefits from a strong historical franchise in specialized businesses, which provides it with business and revenue diversification, Fitch noted.