Europe Factors-Shares to snap rally as S&P downgrades banks
LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - European shares are set to snap a three-session winning streak on Wednesday, with financial stocks seen coming under pressure following Standard & Poor's overnight move to cut its credit ratings on several big European and U.S. banks. Barclays, HSBC, UBS, JPMorgan Chase & Co , Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were among the banks that had their ratings reduced by one notch each as the result of a sweeping overhaul of S&P's ratings criteria. The move could increase funding costs for some banks. "Yesterday's downgrades by S&P on a number of banks in both Europe and the U.S. has rocked sentiment in equity markets," Terry Pratt, trader at IG Markets, said. "This move has essentially overshadowed the progress that had been made in Brussels with regard to leveraging the EFSF bailout fund." Euro zone finance ministers met in Brussels on Tuesday to agree on leveraging their bailout fund so it can help Italy or Spain should they need aid. The ministers, who may turn to the International Monetary Fund for more help, also agreed to release the next aid payments to Greece and Ireland. The ministers agreed on a detailed plan to insure the first 20-30 percent of new bond issues for countries having funding difficulties and to create co-investment funds to attract foreign investors to buy euro zone government bonds. Futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC fell 1.2 to 1.3 percent, while U.S. stock futures and dropped 0.7 to 1.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei average fell 0.5 percent. On Tuesday, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares finished up 0.8 percent at 947.89 points, the highest close since Nov. 18. The index is down 15 percent so far in 2011. Investors awaited a slew of U.S. economic numbers later in the session, including ADP employment numbers and pending home sales figures, after data showed on Tuesday consumer confidence in the United States jumped to its highest level since July MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0735 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,195.19 0.22 % 2.64 NIKKEI 8,434.61 -0.51 % -43.21 MSCI ASIA EX-JP -0.81 % -3.69 EUR/USD 1.3265 -0.38 % -0.0050 USD/JPY 77.91 0.1 % 0.0800 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.983 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 2.292 -- -0.06 SPOT GOLD $1,710.39 -0.23 % -$3.90 US CRUDE $99.10 -0.69 % -0.69 * Wall St up for 2nd day on brighter consumer outlook * Asian shares fall on caution over euro zone bailout * FOREX-Euro inches up, takes EFSF plans in stride * Brent stays above $110, helped by Mideast tensions * Gold on course for 3rd day of gains; Europe eyed * LME copper falls 1.3 pct as euro zone woes weigh COMPANY NEWS WENDEL TE Connectivity Ltd is to buy Deutsch Group SAS, a maker of heavy-duty electronic connectors, for about 1.55 billion euros ($2.06 billion) as it looks to expand its presence in the defence and industrial transportation markets. Deutsch Group is owned by French investment group Wendel. SOCIETE GENERALE Societe Generale on Tuesday said its TCW Group unit, one of the largest U.S. asset managers, is not for sale, rejecting a published report to the contrary. Separately, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'A+/A-1' long and short-term ratings on Societe Generale and its core subsidiaries with a stable outlook BNP PARIBAS Following a review under Standard & Poor's revised bank criteria, the rating agency affirmed its 'AA-/A-1+' long- and short-term ratings on French bank BNP Paribas and its core subsidiaries with a stable outlook. ROLLS-ROYCE British engineering group Rolls-Royce has been awarded contracts worth up to $650 million by Brazil's state oil company Petrobras to support its production activities offshore Brazil. PIRAEUS BANK Greece's fourth-largest lender reported a nine-month loss of 287 million euros ($382 million) on higher bad debt provisions, excluding the impact from a planned writedown on Greek government bonds. BP U.S. federal prosecutors on Tuesday said BP broke pledges to improve operations after causing the worst pipeline spill on Alaska's North Slope five years ago and should be subject to additional punishment for its negligence. EADS Boeing could be at a disadvantage to Airbus because the bankruptcy of AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, places up to $40 billion of jet orders at the mercy of a U.S. bankruptcy court, lawyers and bankruptcy experts said. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM U.S. communications regulators released a staff report criticizing AT&T Inc's $39 billion plan to purchase T-Mobile USA, even though they agreed on Tuesday to let the companies withdraw their request for approval. RWE German utility group RWE struck a deal with unions to increase wages 2.7 percent for the roughly 25,000 employees in the country, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily reported. BAYER Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's and Pfizer Inc'S Eliquis drug may reach the U.S. market more quickly after health regulators gave it an expedited review. The drug prevents strokes in patients with a dangerously irregular heartbeat and is rival to Bayer's and Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto. BANCO POPOLARE The Italian lender sees a positive contribution of 203 million euros to its 2011 net results from release of deferred tax credits, the bank said on Tuesday. INTESA SANPAOLO Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday it had downgraded the bank's public-sector covered bonds to Aa3 from Aa1 on review for downgrade, reflecting the previous downgrade of Italy's sovereign rating.
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