European Factors to Watch-Shares to pause at multi-year peak
LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen opening slightly lower on Thursday, taking a breather after a steep rise that has taken a key index to multi-year highs and into "overbought" territory on short-term technical charts. At 0618 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were down between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index is trading at levels not seen since mid-2011 after rising nearly 10 percent in less than a month, boosted by monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve. The index's Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicated "overbought" conditions, meaning some technical traders could start taking some profit. Chris Weston, a trader at IG, said European traders would likely look for any sign of a pullback in the U.S. S&P 500 index, which ended at record highs for a fifth consecutive day, before starting to sell European shares. "We're getting to a point where the market will look to start rolling over," Weston said. "Everyone is in a quite optimistic mood at the moment so pullbacks will be limited to 2 or 3 percent at the moment." Volume may be lighter than usual on Thursday, with the Swiss, Austrian and Nordic markets shut due to national holidays. With the European earnings calendar relatively light, traders said European markets could take their cue from U.S. data due in the afternoon. Initial claims for jobless benefits in the United States, due for publication at 1230 GMT, were expected to have risen to 335,000 from 324,000 one week earlier. "We'd need to see a number above 350,000 to cause any kind of major reaction," IG's Weston said. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0621 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,632.69 0.41 % 6.73 NIKKEI 14,191.48 -0.66 % -94.21 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 563.92 0.01 % 0.03 EUR/USD 1.3159 0.06 % 0.0008 USD/JPY 98.67 -0.32 % -0.3200 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.808 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.265 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,470.86 -0.09 % -$1.33 US CRUDE $96.30 -0.33 % -0.32 > Asian shares gain as upbeat global data, Wall St buoy mood > US STOCKS-S&P 500 ends at record for 5th day > Nikkei up on strong markets; Toyota, brokerages lead gains > TREASURIES-U.S. bonds make small gains as yields draw buyers > FOREX-Antipodean currencies centre stage on strong jobs reports > PRECIOUS-Gold steadies after 1 pct gain; ETFs at 4-year low > London copper slips from 3-week top; China demand in focus > Oil ends mixed, Brent/WTI at narrowest in 2-plus years COMPANY NEWS REPSOL The Spanish oil major posted a forecast-beating 47 percent rise in first-quarter adjusted net profit, driven by higher production and a surge in refining margins. OLD MUTUAL The financial firm said funds under management rose 7 percent to 288.4 billion pounds in the first quarter. DEUTSCHE BANK Deutsche Bank had the biggest share of the foreign exchange market for the ninth year running but second-ranked Citi significantly narrowed the gap, a Euromoney poll showed on Wednesday. ALLIANZ Allianz SE said on Wednesday it would redeem all of its $2 billion 8.375 percent undated subordinated callable bonds. CREDIT AGRICOLE France's Credit Agricole and Italy's Banco Popolare have agreed to inject 450 million euros ($593 million) into their consumer credit joint venture Agos Ducato, which is struggling under a mountain of bad debt in crisis-hit Italy. SOCIETE GENERALE MBIA Inc agreed to pay the French bank $350 million to settle litigation over the bond insurer's restructuring, a person familiar with the case told Reuters on Wednesday. MBIA confirmed the settlement in a regulatory filing Wednesday, which said the agreement brings to an end all litigation brought against it by 18 financial institutions. EADS Airbus has started painting the A350, a sign it is approaching a maiden flight, but has bowed to the industry's increasingly pragmatic mood by deciding against a traditional "rollout" for its newest jet. Australia's military has reached agreement with Eurocopter's local subsidiary to fix problems with its MRH-90 transport helicopter that should see the troubled aircraft cleared later this year, the government said on Thursday.
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