European Factors to Watch- Shares seen edging off multiyear peaks
LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen slightly softer at the open on Wednesday as investors lock in some profits on the previous session's jump to multiyear highs and nervousness creeps in ahead of key central bank meetings and data due this week. Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open down 5 to 10 points, Germany's DAX to fall 7 to 13 points, and France's CAC 40 to ease 7 to 8 points. That represents a fall of as much as 0.2 percent for all three indexes. "There could be an element of caution today in terms of taking substantial positions due to the market weighty event risks due during the latter part of this week," analysts at Credit Agricole CIB said in a note. The EuroSTOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips added 2.4 percent on Tuesday, accelerating gains in afternoon trade after the Dow Jones Industrial average in the United States scaled record highs. The broader, pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.8 percent at 1,189.02 points, its highest finish in 4-1/2 years but just short of the February 2011 intraday peak of 1,191.56 points. Given the scale of the gains, traders said the market would likely need a fresh catalyst for another move higher, which could come from decisions by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England on Thursday, or from the keenly watched U.S. jobs report on Friday. Analysts see a 40 percent chance for more bond buying from the Bank of England and a 10 percent likelihood of an interest rate cut from the ECB this week. Clues on the U.S. non-farm payrolls data for February, meanwhile, can come from the ADP report on private sector employment at 1315 GMT. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0600 GMT: MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 600 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,539.79 0.96 % 14.59 NIKKEI 11,932.27 2.13 % 248.82 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 554.98 0.87 % 4.76 EUR/USD 1.3064 0.11 % 0.0014 USD/JPY 93.17 -0.12 % -0.1100 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.905 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.453 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,578.25 0.2 % $3.19 US CRUDE $91.04 0.24 % 0.22 > Asian shares, commodities up as Dow record bolsters > US STOCKS-Dow surges to new closing high on economy, Fed's help > Nikkei at 4-1/2 yr high; domestic-demand stocks lift Topix above 1,000 > TREASURIES-Prices ease as China, US hopes lift Dow to record high > FOREX-Euro, commodity currencies retain edge after Dow hits record > PRECIOUS-Gold drifts on growth hopes; Asia buying lends support > METALS-London copper edges up on signs of U.S. recovery > Brent steady near $112, tracking equities, stronger growth outlook DANSKE BANK - Danish philanthropic association Realdania is planning to halve its stake in the country's biggest lender with a share sale worth as much as $1 billion. EDP - Portugal's biggest company, posted a 10 percent fall in net profits, hit by the recession in the region, and said another tough year lies ahead due to a regulatory squeeze on energy prices. VODAFONE - Verizon Communications Inc has weighed several options involving its relationship with Vodafone and its joint ownership of Verizon Wireless ranging from ending its wireless venture with the European company to a full merger with Vodafone, Bloomberg reported. ASM - The Dutch semiconductor equipment maker reported a fourth-quarter loss as sales at chip dicing and packaging equipment business fell 28 percent sequentially. EDENRED - French financial holding company Eurazeo said it is selling its 10.2 percent stake in French vouchers and pre-paid cards group Edenred through a private placement. Colony Capital, which holds 21.5 percent of Edenred in concert with Eurazeo, said in a statement it planned to keep its 11.3 percent stake and 14.08 percent of the voting rights. VIVENDI - The conglomerate said a New York court had dismissed securities fraud claims by GAMCO Investors related to the 2001-2002 period when the group verged on bankruptcy under former chief executive Jean-Marie Messier.
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