Italian Stocks: A2A, Fiat, Geox, Safilo, STMicro, and UniCredit

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Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index rose for a third day, adding 66.71, or 0.3 percent, to 20,120.80 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan. The gauge gained 1.4 percent this week, ending a five-week decline.

The following stocks were among the most active in the Italian market today.

A2A SpA (A2A IM) fell for the first day in three, losing

3.5 percent to 99.95 euro cents. Equita Sim SpA cut its recommendation on Italy’s biggest municipal utility to “hold.”

Fiat SpA (F IM) rose for a third day along with a gauge for European automobile shares, gaining 1.2 percent to 13.64 euros. Intermonte Sim SpA kept an “outperform” rating on the carmaker.

Separately, the company’s talks with unions on a plan for the Mirafiori plant collapsed, Ansa reported, without saying where it got the information.

Finmeccanica SpA (FNC IM) dropped for a fourth day this week, losing 1 percent to 8.77 euros. Chief Executive Officer Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini said 2011 will be another tough year. The Rome-based company is weathering the crisis well and is seeking new markets because the U.S. and European countries are cutting their budgets.

Geox SpA (GEO IM) dropped for a second day, losing 2.1 percent to 3.51 euros. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research trimmed its price estimate on the Italian shoemaker to 3.4 euros from 3.8 euros with an “underperform” rating unchanged, citing uncertainties in the outlook for margins.

Safilo Group SpA (SFL IM) climbed 6.3 percent to 12.6 euros, a first gain this week, as shares of the world’s second-largest maker of eyeglass frames rose above their 20-day moving average.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM) climbed the most since August last year, rising 7.2 percent to 7.47 euros. Exane BNP Paribas upgraded Europe’s largest semiconductor maker to “outperform” from “neutral.”

UniCredit SpA (UCG IM) increased 2.6 percent to 1.7 euros, taking this week’s gain to 6 percent. BofA Merrill Lynch reiterated a “buy” rating on Italy’s biggest bank after yesterday’s investor meeting in London. The brokerage said in a note that “in our view UniCredit should buy rather than sell CEE assets.”

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