European Factors to Watch-Shares to open firm on solid earnings
LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - European stock market futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday, with solid earnings reports helping to consolidate last week's gains and send stocks back up towards multi-year highs as Europe's biggest financial centre reopened after a holiday. Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.3 to 0.2 percent, with decent earnings from heavyweight banks providing a lift to European stocks. "All eyes now fall on a European corporate space with HSBC, Societe Generale and Commerzbank reporting earnings, and all have big weightings on the corresponding markets," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG markets, said in a trading note. While Societe Generale saw a 50 percent slump in quarterly profit on the back of one-off charges and a weakening economy, Commerzbank reported a smaller-than-expected first quarter loss. Credit Agricole met expectations, reporting a 51 percent rise in profit after selling a loss-making Greek unit. HSBC reports after the market opens. "Today's figures are mixed with the banks (SocGen, Commerz and Credit Ag) all looking in line to a touch better," said Nick Xanders, who heads up European equity strategy at BTIG, saying that while Carlsberg also beat expectations, Lafarge came in below predictions. In general, the earnings performance of European companies has lagged that of the United States. With the quarterly earnings season of the STOXX Europe 600 60 percent of the way through, 52 percent of companies having missed expectations, compared to 27 percent missing estimates on the S&P 500, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index closed 0.5 percent lower on Monday, consolidating the gains of the week before when it surged to a 22-month peak of 2,764.17 after strong U.S. monthly jobs data and an interest rate cut from the European Central Bank (ECB). The falls came in thin volumes, however, with the UK market shut and British traders away from their desks for a public holiday. The reopening of Europe's biggest financial centre is expected to boost volumes after a mere 42 percent of the average 90-day volume was traded on the Euro STOXX 50 on Monday. The index is just 0.5 percent off of 2 year highs set on Friday, with the German DAX in touching distance of all time highs, 0.5 percent below the record at 8,151.570. Global stock markets have been supported by easy monetary policy across the world, a trend reinforced overnight when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) followed the ECB's lead, cutting its main cash rate to a record low of 2.75 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi also reiterated he was "ready to act" again if the euro zone economy deteriorates further. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0632GMT: S&P 500 1,617.50 0.19 % 3.08 NIKKEI 14,180.24 3.55 % 486.2 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 557.23 0.15 % 0.83 EUR/USD 1.3075 0.01 % 0.0001 USD/JPY 98.92 -0.41 % -0.4100 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.750 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.240 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,461.41 -0.51 % -$7.48 US CRUDE $95.29 -0.9 % -0.87 > Asian shares capped but Nikkei soars on US growth hopes MKTS/GLOB > S&P 500 closes at record again; financials, Apple lead .N > Nikkei climbs 2.8 pct to above 14,000, highest in nearly 5 years .T > Bond yields reach three-week high ahead of auctions US/N > Euro tripped by ECB, Aussie on defensive ahead of RBA rate decision FRX/ > Gold ticks lower as equities gain, ETFs plunge GOL/ > Copper hits 3-week high on economic optimism MET/L > Brent slips towards $105 after gains, supply worries stem losses O/R COMPANY NEWS: SOCIETE GENERALE France's No. 2 listed bank is to cut 900 million euros in costs over the next three years after a weak domestic economy and one-off charges halved quarterly earnings. CREDIT AGRICOLE The French bank said that its quarterly earnings rose 51 percent, helped by the sale of a Greek unit which had cost it heavily in the year-ago period. COMMERZBANK Germany's second biggest lender slipped to a net loss in the first quarter as its efforts to cut 4,000 to 6,000 jobs by 2016 weighed on earnings. Related news LUFTHANSA Former Lufthansa Chief Executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber is back in the running to become supervisory board chairman of Germany's biggest airline after overcoming shareholder opposition to his candidacy. Related news MUNICH RE The world's biggest reinsurer reported forecast-beating net profit of 972 million euros ($1.3 billion) in the first quarter as low damage claims offset an 11 percent drop in income from investments. Related news HSBC The bank is expected to almost double first quarter profits to about $8 billion on Tuesday helped by a fall in costs and bad debts and showing the benefits of a three-year restructuring that is nearly complete. DIAGEO The global spirits company has named Chief Operating Officer Ivan Menezes as its new chief executive, replacing Paul Walsh who has been at the helm of the firm since 2000. EASYJET the airline said April passenger numbers were up 2.5 percent. ING The Dutch banking and insurance group is in favour of the Dutch state quickly selling a portfolio of mortgaged backed securities to end a guarantee ING received from the state in 2009, Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. CARLSBERG Danish brewer Carlsberg's first-quarter operating profits and revenue exceeded forecasts, as strong beer sales in Asia helped cushion a decline in mature European markets as well as in its former growth driver Russia. ALSTOM The power and transport engineering company tempered its mid-term growth forecasts as it battles deteriorating economic conditions and tough competition. LAFARGE The world's largest cement maker confirmed its 2013 targets as it posted a widening loss in the first quarter, hit by lower cement demand, poor weather in Europe and foreign exchange headwinds. ADECCO Adecco, the world's largest staffing company, said it expects more favourable economic conditions towards the end of the year, as it posted a 40 percent drop in first-quarter profit. For more, click on ENDESA The utility reported a 23 percent fall in first quarter net profit to 476 million euros. SKANSKA The Nordic region's biggest construction group is to post first-quarter results at 0600 GMT. The company's operating profit is seen rising to 484 million Swedish crowns ($74.1 million) from a year-ago 148 million, according to a Reuters poll of analysts. For more on the company, double click NATIXIS The French bank reported a 22 percent gain in quarterly net profit, helped by higher capital markets revenue and increased profit from its arm which is selling off toxic assets left over from the financial crisis.
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