European Factors to Watch-Shares seen up as Fed defends stimulus steps

Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:33am EST

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen slightly higher on
Wednesday after sharp losses in the previous session, helped by the U.S. Federal
Reserve's defence of its stimulus programmes for the economy, although concerns
over the euro zone may limit gains.
    Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open as much
as 6 points higher, or up by as much as 0.1 percent. Germany's DAX was
seen opening as much as 28 points higher or up by as much as 0.4 percent, while
France's CAC was seen up by as much as 11 points, or 0.3 percent.
    Nevertheless, traders said concerns over the euro zone's sovereign debt
crisis, which were heightened this week by elections in Italy which produced a
political stalemate, and looming U.S. budget cuts - referred to as
"sequestration" - would continue to weigh on equity markets.
    Concerns over Italy caused the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
 to close down 3.1 percent at 2,570.52 points on Tuesday, its lowest
finish since Nov. 28. The broader, pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 fell
1.4 percent to 1,150.25 points.
    "European equity markets are set to edge higher on the open buoyed by
(Federal Reserve head) Ben Bernanke's commitment to easy monetary policy.
However, markets remain uneasy as the uncertainty surrounding the Italian
election and the looming sequester are set to keep confidence at bay," Capital
Spreads dealer Jonathan Sudaria wrote in a research note.    
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0619 GMT:
  
 MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0619 GMT                        
                                   LAST    PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                       1,496.94     0.61 %     9.09
 NIKKEI                        11,253.9    -1.27 %  -144.84
                                      7             
 MSCI ASIA       <.MIASJ0000P    549.07     0.38 %     2.06
 EX-JP           US>                                
 EUR/USD                         1.3076     0.11 %   0.0015
 USD/JPY                          91.75    -0.24 %  -0.2200
 10-YR US TSY                     1.876         --    -0.01
 YLD                                                
 10-YR BUND YLD                   1.455         --     0.00
 SPOT GOLD                     $1,611.6    -0.09 %   -$1.44
                                      7             
 US CRUDE                        $92.82     0.21 %     0.19
 
  
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares recover after Bernanke reassures, Italy weighs 
    
  > US STOCKS-Wall Street rebounds on Bernanke comments, data 
  > Nikkei falls as exporters and financials retreat; Italy vote uncertainty
    
  > TREASURIES-Yields near 1-month lows as Bernanke defends bond buys 
    
  > FOREX-Yen holds gains as investors await Italian bond sale 
  > PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 1-1/2-week high as Bernanke backs stimulus 
  > METALS-Copper climbs after Fed reassures on stimulus 
  > Brent holds steady above $112 on Bernanke assurance; EU woes weigh
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