European Factors to Watch-Shares to gain, focus on earnings
LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to rise for a second straight session on Monday, mirroring gains on Wall Street and in Asia, with recent encouraging results from some major firms raising optimism for the earnings season. At 0634 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.4 to 0.8 percent higher. On Friday, the FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.5 percent. "With the economic calendar looking a little light this week, corporate earnings season is likely to drive market sentiment again," Alpari said in a note. "There are a number of major companies reporting first quarter earnings this week, including Apple, Amazon and Exxon Mobil. By far, the most closely watched earnings will come from Caterpillar." According to Thomson Reuters StarMine Data, out of the 21 percent companies on the S&P 500 index that have declared their results so far, 72 percent have met or beaten expectations, while 28 percent have missed. In Europe, only 8 percent of the STOXX Europe 600 companies have reported first quarter results, but 57 percent of them have met or beaten analysts' forecasts. Philips, the Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliances group, reported slightly better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Monday, while Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said underlying operating profit had increased 13.7 percent in the first quarter, driven by improved margins in both the Unites States and Belgium. European shares are expected to track gains in other major markets. Japan's Nikkei Average rose 1.9 percent to a near five-year high on Monday, with exporters surging as the yen weakened after the Group of 20 leading economies stopped short of criticising Japan's sweeping monetary easing. On Friday, U.S. shares gained 0.1 to 1.3 percent. "For now, whilst some selective profit taking appears sensible, investors are generally holding their nerve," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said. "Soft commodity prices provide a potential early warning signal, although corporate earnings have to date broadly supported. In the near term, the U.S. housing market is likely to come back into sharp focus, a crucial positive for investors over recent months." Italian shares, which surged 1.8 percent on the previous session, are expected to be in focus. The re-election of Italy's president has raised the prospect of an end to the two months of political stalemate that have followed the general election, with a move to form a government foreseen within days. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0635 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,555.25 0.88 % 13.64 NIKKEI 13,568.37 1.89 % 251.89 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 539.01 0.3 % 1.60 EUR/USD 1.3054 -0.2 % -0.0026 USD/JPY 99.72 -0.05 % -0.0500 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.722 -- 0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.259 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,419.89 1.14 % $16.04 US CRUDE $88.20 0.22 % 0.19 * Nikkei bulls charge in as dollar/yen eyes 100 * Nikkei jumps 1.9 pct to nearly 5-yr high * Wall St gets Google lift in S&P's worst since November * Yen bears in driving seat after G20, USD/JPY targets 100 * Gold jumps 1 percent, ETFs holdings at 3-yr low * London copper under $7,000 on global growth worries * Brent hovers around $100, global econ worries cap gains * Treasuries-Prices dip as investors buy stocks COMPANY NEWS ABB Automation technology group ABB said it was buying renewable energy firm Power-One Inc for around $1 billion equity value to step up its presence in the growing market of solar inverters that transform solar power into electricity. DELHAIZE The Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said on Monday underlying operating profit had increased 13.7 percent in the first quarter, driven by improved margins in both the Unites States and Belgium. CREDIT SUISSE Credit Suisse AG has stopped voluntarily disclosing the amount of trading volume on its Crossfinder platform, the world's largest dark pool, highlighting the debate over the transparency of U.S. equities markets. For more, click on LUFTHANSA Lufthansa passengers faced chaos on Monday after the airline cancelled virtually all of its flights in Germany due to a strike by staff over pay. PHILIPS The Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliances group on Monday reported slightly better-than-expected first-quarter profit and said it still sees a weak first half, especially in the United States and Europe. COMMERZBANK Commerzbank said it won shareholder approval for its planned capital increase in a vote at Friday's annual general meeting. YARA The Norwegian fertiliser-maker reported first-quarter results that were slightly weaker than expected. It reported core earnings of 4.09 billion Norwegian crowns ($704 million), compared to the market's forecast for 4.17 billion crowns. DAIMLER The Mercedes-Benz division expects higher car sales in China this year, the head of Daimler's China operations said at the Shanghai auto show. VOLKSWAGEN VW's Audi will speed up launches of high-performance cars such as the 107,900 euro ($141,100) RS6 Avant estate to boost profit. EADS Airbus parent EADS has signaled that shareholders can expect higher dividends in coming years as Europe's largest aerospace group moves out of a phase of high investments and leaves behind some problems of the past. BMW The world's biggest luxury carmaker said it is targeting "upper single-digit" sales growth in China this year, a senior company official said on Saturday. HSBC HSBC is reviewing its operations in Iraq while continuing to invest in Egypt despite a challenging near-term environment there, the bank's regional chief executive said on Sunday. ENRC The Kazakh miner firm has been hit by the resignation of three senior executives and a fourth taking a leave of absence, the Financial Times reported, saying this was the latest in a list of "long-running coporate governance concerns". GLENCORE The Guardian reported that Glencore traded with a firm which supplies Iran's nuclear programme, though the company said it ceased working with the firm before EU sanctions on the country kicked in. THYSSENKRUPP Brazilian steelmaker CSN has resubmitted a bid for assets belonging to Germany's ThyssenKrupp, a source familiar with the subject told Reuters on Friday. MERCK Board member Stefan Oschmann told weekly Focus that he expects sales of Merck's cancer drug Erbitux - one of the group's two best-selling prescription drugs - to be stable or increase slightly in 2013. Related news BANKIA New shares of nationalised bank Bankia begin to trade after reverse split that created one share out of every 100.
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