European Factors to Watch-Shares seen flat to lower as U.S. talks stall
By Francesco Canepa LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - European stocks were expected to open flat to lower at the open on Tuesday after U.S. budget negotiations to delay growth-curbing austerity measures hit a roadblock and some key regional indexes failed to break above resistance levels. At 0714 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50 and France's CAC were flat, while contracts on Germany's DAX shed 0.1 percent and futures for Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent. The White House dismissed a budget deal proposal from congressional Republicans that included tax reforms and spending cuts, saying it did not meet President Barack Obama's pledge to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. U.S. political parties are discussing ways to delay a $600 billion "fiscal cliff" of year-end austerity measures that could send the world's largest economy into recession. "(A) bad taste left over from the U.S. session was the bitterness over the fiscal cliff that appears to be brewing between the Republicans and the White House," Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads, said in a trading note. "With the deadline getting closer and time running out fast, the public derision of each others proposals isn't instilling much confidence amongst traders that an agreement is any nearer to being reached." The Euro STOXX 50 ended 0.3 percent higher at 2,582.36 points on Monday, erasing most of the day's gains on the back of disappointing U.S. manufacturing data. In a sign of buyers' lack of conviction, the Euro STOXX 50 failed to break above a strong resistance at 2,611, a 2012 high set in March, and edged below its September high at 2,600 by the close. Britain's FTSE 100 hit a ceiling at 5,900 for the second time in as many sessions before closing the day up a meagre 0.1 percent at 5,871 points, showing the recent rally was running out of steam and leading some short-term traders to position for a pullback. "We will trade the break of (Monday's) low (at 5,875) with a stoploss above the day's high (at 5.902)," the head of a London-based technical trading firm said. "If we do not get triggered into the trade, it will signal to us that there is no bearish momentum so will thus invalidate our reason to short - and we will remove the order." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 714 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,409. -0.47 % -6.72 6 NIKKEI 9,432. -0.27 % -25.72 6 MSCI ASIA <.MIASJ000 -0.12 % -0.64 EX-JP PUS> EUR/USD 1.3064 0.08 % 0.0011 USD/JPY 82.07 -0.19 % -0.160 10-YR US <US10YT=RR 1.628 -- 0.01 TSY YLD 10-YR BUND <EU10YT=RR 1.415 -- 0.00 YLD SPOT GOLD $1,703 -0.64 % -$10.9 90 US CRUDE $88.72 -0.42 % -0.37 > Asian shares fall from 9-month high on weak U.S. data > Wall St sours on weak domestic factory data > Nikkei falls as poor U.S. data triggers profit-taking > Treasuries slip on Spain aid, Chinese data > Dollar slips vs yen; RBA rate decision awaited > Gold edges down as US fiscal talk uncertainty weighs > Copper drops from 6-week high, U.S. woes weigh > Brent slips on weak US data, 'fiscal cliff' woes COMPANY NEWS GERMAN AUTO STOCKS Porsche said its November sales in the United States jumped by 71 percent to 3,865 vehicles, thanks to demand for the Porsche 911 and the Cayenne SUV. Daimler's Mercedes-Benz USA reported a 15.6 percent gain in November sales to 32,649 vehicles. And BMW said its U.S. sales rose 38.8 percent to 36,461 vehicles during the month. MAN MAN plans to scale back production of trucks from Jan. 14 as its customers hold off placing major orders in uncertain economic times, the head of its truck business said. ARCELORMITTAL Canada, hoping to spur economic development of its far north, has approved the construction of a massive iron ore mine in the Arctic territory of Nunavut that could help the top steelmaker reduce its dependence on outside suppliers. South Korean steelmaker POSCO has secured exclusive negotiating rights to acquire a stake in a Canadian iron ore mine operator controlled by ArcelorMittal, a source who has knowledge of the matter said. DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA The German flagship airline said it needs to cut costs at its profitable long-haul business to cope with rising fuel prices and stiff competition from Gulf carriers. E.ON Germany's biggest energy group agreed on Monday to take over Austrian firm Verbund's stake in Turkish energy firm Enerjisa, pushing ahead with its foreign expansion. ELECTRICITE DE FRANCE The French state-controlled power giant raised the estimated construction cost of its next-generation nuclear reactor by one-third to 8 billion euros. AXA Planned new capital rules for European Union insurers have cut the value of European stocks by nearly ten percent over the last three years, the French insurer said. REPSOL Spanish oil major Repsol filed a complaint against Argentina at the World Bank's international arbitration forum on Monday over the government's expropriation this year of Repsol's controlling stake in YPF. VIVENDI, BOUYGUES Bouygues Telecom said it had been holding discussions with Vivendi's SFR about sharing their mobile networks outside France's major cities. FRANCE TELECOM The French telecom group will exit STOXX Europe 50, Europe's blue-chip index, from December 24 and be replaced by the world's second largest luxury goods group, Richemont, STOXX said in a press release. NOKIA SIEMENS NETWORKS A service unit of Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) in Germany faces closure, affecting 1,000 jobs, after losing a contract with its biggest customer, German daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Sprint Nextel Corp is unlikely to make a counteroffer for MetroPCS Communications, the U.S. mobile operator that Deutsche Telekom plans to merge with its T-Mobile USA unit, three people familiar with the matter said on. TELIASONERA The findings from an independent investigation into TeliaSonera's dealings in Uzbekistan, are likely to be delayed until the end of January, as lawyers have not been able to contact some of the key players, Bjorn Riese, chairman of law firm Mannheimer Swartling conducting the probe, told Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet. TeliaSonera's purchase of a 3G license is also being examined by Swedish prosecutors after allegations its payment in the deal amounted to bribery and money laundering.