European Factors to Watch- Shares seen pausing at multiyear peaks

Wed Mar 6, 2013 2:21am EST

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.
    At 0715 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50 fell 0.2 percent, while
those for Germany's DAX and France's CAC were both 0.1 percent
lower. Futures for Britain's FTSE 100, however, added 0.1 percent.
    "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. 
    Continued political uncertainty in Italy - where an election ended in a
stalemate last week - was also seeing capping European equity gains. Italian
officials said President Giorgio Napolitano is considering appointing a new
technocrat government as one way out of the deadlock. 
    "My view is that it's going to be very volatile. I would not get very
excited about the rally, I think it is premature. Anybody who is holding
positions, I would recommend to sell the rally until mid-March  when I would
recommend putting in new money," said Manish Singh, head of investment services
at Crossbridge Capital. 
    "Having said, that I don't want to sound very bearish because I am not, I
would always prefer equities over bonds because of valuations and where things
stand."    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0715 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                       555.01      0.87 %       4.79
 EUR/USD                               1.3058      0.06 %     0.0008
 USD/JPY                                93.28        -0 %     0.0000
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.906          --       0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         1.456          --       0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,577.86      0.18 %      $2.80
 US CRUDE                              $91.02      0.22 %       0.20
 
  > 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  
   
   
    
    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. 
    
    ADMIRAL - The insurer said group profit before tax rose 15 percent
to 345 million sterling in 2012 and that trading environment for confused.com
will be even more challenging in 2013.   
    
    HENKEL - The maker of washing powder and shampoos said it
expected earnings to rise 10 percent in 2013 as it reported fourth quarter
results in line with expectations. 
    
    KLOECKNER & CO - The steel trader sees its first-quarter sales up
sequentially and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) of 30-40 million euros ($39-52 million) in the period. 
    
    MEDIOBANCA - The Italian investment bank launched two voluntary
offers to buy back some of its senior unsecured bonds maturing in 2014 for up to
2 billion euros.
    
    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. 
    
    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.
 
    
    DIAGEO - Lenders to Kingfisher Airlines Ltd have indicated
they may sell United Spirits Ltd (USL) shares pledged with them as
collateral either in the market or at a higher price to outsiders, dealing a
serious, but not fatal, blow to the proposed takeover of USL by British liquor
giant Diageo, the Economic Times reported. 
    
    AXEL SPRINGER - The German publisher said it expected a
significant drop in 2013 adjusted earnings per share as investments will weigh
on results. 
    
    VERBUND 
    The Austrian energy group boosted 2012 net profit by 9 percent to 389
million euros ($507 million) and proposed raising its dividend.
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