Europe Factors to Watch-European stocks set to rise after Alcoa
PARIS, April 9 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to rise on Tuesday, adding to the previous session's gains, as a strong start of the U.S. earnings season and benign Chinese inflation data lifted investor sentiment. At 0630 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.5-0.7 percent. U.S. aluminium group Alcoa, viewed as a bellwether for the materials sector, was the first of the S&P 500 companies to report first-quarter results, posting a better-than-expected profit after the Wall Street's closing bell on Monday. Other big U.S. companies are set to report results during the week, including Constellation Brands, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup . Forecasts for first-quarter earnings have been trimmed since the beginning of the year, with profits seen rising just 1.6 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data. In January, earnings were seen rising 4.3 percent. "Expectations for the earnings season are quite low, so the risk seems to be on the upside, at least for U.S. companies. We could easily see the market resuming its rally after a few positive surprises from earnings," a Paris-based trader said. Also boosting sentiment on Tuesday, lower-than-expected Chinese inflation data fuelled expectations that the country's monetary stimulus will stay in place to support its economic growth. Gains could be limited on Monday, however, as data showed German exports and imports unexpectedly slumped in February, in a sign the euro zone's biggest economy is being hit by the bloc's economic downturn. Shares in Airbus parent EADS will be in the spotlight after top shareholder Lagardere said late on Monday it has begun selling its 7.4 percent stake, worth 2.4 billion euros. European stocks inched higher on Monday, halting a sharp three-session slide, although traders noted a lack of conviction, evidenced by low trading volumes. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0625 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,563.07 0.63 % 9.79 NIKKEI 13,192.35 -0 % -0.24 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 530.14 0.7 % 3.69 EUR/USD 1.3028 0.16 % 0.0021 USD/JPY 99.01 -0.34 % -0.3400 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.740 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.250 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,576.24 0.2 % $3.15 US CRUDE $93.61 0.27 % 0.25 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Yen stays weak, Asian shares rise on US earnings > Wall St closes higher, Alcoa volatile after results > Japan's Nikkei rises to near 5-yr highs on BOJ steps, gov't bonds mixed > FOREX-Yen hits 47-month low vs dollar, focus on 100 threshold > PRECIOUS-Gold pares losses, but equities lure investors > METALS-Copper climbs on euro revival, steady China demand > Brent rises above $105 after softer China inflation, N. Korea in focus COMPANY NEWS: EADS, LAGARDERE French media group Lagadere said on Monday evening it was launching a private placement to sell all its shares in the European aerospace group. Separately, the sales chief at unit Airbus said on Monday the aircraft maker can sell 750 jets this year, confirming the top end of a 700-750 sales range the company has previously announced. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM The European Commission on Monday evening blocked plans by Germany to raise the fees operators such as Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone VOD.L charge each other to connect fixed-line phone calls. Separately, the federal network agency has given permission for Deutsche Telekom to expand its broadband network, under certain conditions, FAZ reported. ALLIANZ The EU's insurance watchdog has initially rejected calls for it to cut capital charges on insurance companies' infrastructure and private equity investments, which politicians are pushing as a way to boost long-term growth. MUNICH RE, HANNOVER RE Europe's third-biggest insurer Generali has short-listed two bidders for the sale of its U.S. life reinsurance unit. Munich Re and Hannover Re had been interested but the selected bidders are Scor and a U.S. rival, sources said on Monday. GENERALI Europe's third-biggest insurer has moved closer to selling its U.S. life reinsurance unit as it shortlisted two among a large number of bidders, two people with direct knowledge of the situation said on Monday. IMPREGILO Motorway company ASTM has decided to tender almost all of its 29.9 percent stake in Impregilo to a bid launched by Salini, drawing a line under a long fight to control Italy's biggest builder. UBI BANCA Norges Bank said on Monday it had raised its stake in the bank to 2.02 percent, against 1.97 percent held previously. COMMERZBANK The head of the bank's staff council, Uwe Tschaege, told Handelsblatt he would not rule out strikes in negotiations with management over planned job cuts. TUI AG The city of Hamburg is keen to push for another round of merger talks between container shippers Hapag-Lloyd, in which TUI holds a 22 percent stake, and Hamburg Sued, a city official told Reuters on Monday.