European Factors to Watch-Shares to fall, focus on tech stocks

Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:39am EST

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to edge lower on
Friday, with a cautious tone on spending from Samsung and a sharp drop in Apple
shares seen hitting the tech sector, and some investors taking profits on a
major index's 23-month highs.
    South Korea's Samsung Electronics turned cautious on spending
for the first time since the global financial crisis as demand for computer
chips wanes and the smartphone market slows. 
    In the United States, Apple shares dropped more than 12 percent, a
day after it posted revenue that missed Wall Street's forecast as iPhone sales
were poorer than expected.
    At 0735 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and
France's CAC were 0.2 percent lower. Financial spreadbetters expected
Britain's FTSE 100 to open as much as 0.3 percent lower.
    On Thursday, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 0.3
percent higher at 1,171.06 points after hitting 1,171.78 earlier in the session,
its best level since early March 2011.
    Bill McNamara, technical analyst at Charles Stanley, said the euro zone's
blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index, which closed 0.5 percent higher at
2,722.96 on Thursday, has been struggling to move sharply higher after hitting
highs earlier this month.
    "This range-trading has led to a fall-off in upside momentum which suggests
that traders have become cautious about its short-term prospects, and while this
is not necessarily fatal to the bull case, the index would probably have
to climb above its recent trading high at 2,735 to show that the rally was still
ongoing."
     "On the other hand, a dip below the recent trading low of 2,685 would
strongly suggest that a retracement phase is underway, with an initial downside
target of 2,625."
    Investors will focus on macroeconomic releases for hints about the market's
near-term direction. Britain will find out later on Friday whether its economy
shrank again late last year, raising the risk that it is heading for its third
recession since the 2008 financial crisis.
    Forecasts from economists polled by Reuters centre on a 0.1 percent fall in
gross domestic product (GDP) between October and December, compared with the
previous quarter, when Britain briefly returned to growth. 
   "We see some upside risks to our below consensus forecast for UK GDP as
recent data on services and construction activity have been a touch stronger
than expected. However, we suspect the Q4 GDP report will confirm that the UK
underlying pace of growth remained subdued in 2012," Annalisa Piazza, Analyst at
Newedge Strategy, said in a note.
    German Ifo business climate, due at 0900 GMT, is forecast to be 103.0,
compared with 102.4 in the previous month, while in the United States, new home
sales data for December is due at 1500 GMT. Economists forecast a total of
385,000 annualized units, compared with 377,000 in November.
   
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     MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0729 GMT                                  
                                                 LAST    PCT CHG   NET CHG
     S&P 500                                 1,494.82        0 %      0.01
     NIKKEI                                 10,926.65     2.88 %    305.78
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP                           553.52    -0.66 %     -3.69
     EUR/USD                                   1.3408     0.25 %    0.0034
     USD/JPY                                    90.47     0.15 %    0.1400
     10-YR US TSY YLD                           1.863         --      0.01
     10-YR BUND YLD                             1.575         --      0.00
     SPOT GOLD                              $1,670.66      0.2 %     $3.30
     US CRUDE                                  $96.13     0.19 %      0.18
 
    * Asian shares down; Seoul hit by weak techs                 
    * Nikkei gains 2 pct on weak yen but headed to weekly loss   
    * Yen hits new low, focus on Japan's reflationary policies   
    * Copper inches up on solid U.S., China factory data         
    * Brent holds just above $113 on promising US, China data    
    * Bonds slip slightly in Asia after U.S. data                
    
    
    COMPANY NEWS
    
    CREDIT AGRICOLE, BANKINTER 
    French bank Credit Agricole said it raised 116 million euros ($155
million) by selling about a third of its 15.1 percent stake in Spain's Bankinter
. The bank will make a net capital gain of 32 million euros from the
sale of the 5.2 percent stake, the bank said on Friday. 
    
    SOLARWORLD 
    German solar group SolarWorld warned it would need to make a
"serious adjustment" to its debt to remain a viable company. 
      
    THYSSENKRUPP 
    Credit rating agency Moody's cut ThyssenKrupp's debt to "junk" status,
citing challenging market conditions and losses at the German steelmaker's mills
in Brazil and the United States. 
    
    JCDECAUX 
    The outdoor advertising specialist said it beat its full-year sales growth
forecast, helped by a 10 percent surge at its transport business in the fourth
quarter. 
    
    RENAULT 
    Nissan Motor Co Ltd plans to build its next hatchback model at one
of alliance partner Renault's French factories, Les Echos newspaper reported.
 
    
    EDF 
    The French electricity utility said it had raised around 6.2 billion euros
through several bond offerings this week across three currencies. 
    
    VOLKSWAGEN 
    The German carmaker is using new high-strength steel to make cars lighter
and comply with strict emissions rules, confounding forecasts that aluminium
would be the metal of choice for reducing weight. 
    
    UBS 
    Citi and UBS must arbitrate a healthcare group's claim stemming from
$234 million in auction rate securities in a dispute over who is considered a
"customer" for purposes of securities arbitration, a federal appeals court panel
has ruled. For related news, click on 
    
    LOGITECH
    Logitech's chief executive said his company will decide within 90
days whether to sell the video-conferencing arm it bought in 2009 for $405
million after this week writing down the unit's value by more than half.
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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