European Factors to Watch-Shares to fall, focus on EU ministers
LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - European shares were set to retreat on Friday, hit by caution over a meeting of EU finance ministers and on expectations of some profit taking after four straight sessions of gains by equities to one-week highs. The bailout package for Cyprus will top the agenda of an informal two-day gathering in Dublin beginning on Friday, along with deepening problems in Slovenia and growing German reluctance over euro zone banking reform. "There are a number of items on the agenda at this meeting, so there is a good chance that there will be an impact on the markets," Alpari said in a note. Cyprus was originally meant to come up with 7 billion euros for the rescue package and the European Union and International Monetary Fund would provide 10 billion, some documents show the total package will now cost 23 billion euros, with Cyprus providing 13 billion. A cautious tone was reflected in the futures market, with Euro STOXX 50 futures, Germany's DAX futures and France's CAC futures falling 0.4 to 0.7 percent. Financial spreadbetters earlier predicted Britain's FTSE 100 to drop as much as 0.50 percent. The retreat is likely to come one day after the FTSEuroforst 300 index of top European shares rose 0.6 percent to a one-week high. The index remained on track to post its best weekly gain since early January and is up more than 5 percent so far this year. The market will keep a close eye on U.S. earnings, with investment bank JPMorgan announcing results later in the session. Investors will scrutinise its results for hints about the outflook for the financial sector. "We are currently net long financials with an 'overweight' on banks," Citi said in a note, adding it saw improving capital, higher potential returns, restructuring and regulatory forbearance as supporting a positive stance on the sector. "We are broadly 'neutral' on cyclicals, have a positive skew to defensive growth and are 'underweight' utilities, telecoms and oil & gas." Focus will also be on the euro zone's industrial production data at 0900 GMT, which are forecast to have risen 0.1 percent in February from a month ago. In the United States, economists expect unchanged retail sales number for February, due at 1230 GMT, against a 1.1 percent rise in the previous month. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0643 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,593.37 0.36 % 5.64 NIKKEI 13,485.14 -0.47 % -64.02 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 533.76 -0.66 % -3.53 EUR/USD 1.3098 -0.03 % -0.0004 USD/JPY 99.42 -0.25 % -0.2500 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.784 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.291 -- -0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,561.55 0.05 % $0.81 US CRUDE $93.08 -0.46 % -0.43 * Asian shares shed some gains, dollar lingers near 100 yen * Nikkei drops 0.8 pct, takes breather after rally * Wall St gains for 4th day, but weak tech hurts Nasdaq * Dollar hovers near 4-year high vs yen, aims at 100 mark * Copper poised for weekly gain, underpinned by China demand * Gold heads for third weekly drop, firm equities weigh * Oil settles lower as demand view dims, inventory rises * U.S. bond prices rise, though Japanese bids elusive COMPANY NEWS DEUTSCHE TELEKOM MetroPCS shareholders Paulson & Co and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP (PSAM) both said on Thursday they were dropping their opposition to a tie-up of the U.S. company with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA. D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753 German investor Joh A Benckiser is close to making a formal bid for the owner of Douwe Egberts coffee, a source close to the situation said, in a deal valuing the Dutch firm at about 7.6 billion euros. ALSTOM Alstom Renewable Power and Brazil's Renova Energia said they signed an initial contract worth around 450 million euros as part of a deal announced in February to supply equipment to wind farms in Bahia State. RIO TINTO The global miner said on Thursday that it had suspended work at its Bingham Canyon mine near Salt Lake City, Utah, after a land slide late on Wednesday. AGGREKO The temporary power provider said trading in the first quarter had been in line with its expectations with underlying group revenues growing by 8 percent, while expectations for the year remain unchanged. SEGRO The owner, asset manager and developer of modern warehousing, light industrial and data centre properties, acquires prime warehouses in Warsaw for 43.2 million euros ($56.71 million) from AREA Property Partners and Apollo-Rida Poland. VOLKSWAGEN, MAN SE MAN SE said it was setting aside 140 million euros ($184 million), hitting its first-quarter operating profit, to cover possible risks related to a large order to construct turnkey diesel power plants. TELEFONICA DEUTSCHLAND Spanish telecom operator Telefonica and Dutch group KPN are set to reopen talks over sharing their mobile networks in Germany, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. TALVIVAARA Finnish pension insurance firm Ilmarinen cancelled its subscriptions to the mining company's recent rights issue after a second waste water leak, raising doubts over the company's recovery efforts.