European Factors to Watch-Shares seen mixed at open

Wed May 15, 2013 2:58am EDT

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to open mixed on
Wednesday as poor growth numbers from Germany and France curbed positive
momentum generated by recent encouraging U.S. economic data and central bank
support.
    Germany's economy only just skirted a recession in the first quarter,
growing by a weaker-than-expected 0.1 percent, while France entered a shallow
recession after contracting by 0.2 percent.  
    "Austerity measures are biting and policy measures have not been enough to
kick-start growth. Traders now will speculate over additional measures the
European Central Bank could possibly employ," ETX Capital said in a note.
    "It's unlikely the poor euro zone GDP figures will be enough to trigger a
correction alone as data from the U.S. so far appears to be reassuring
investors."
    Euro zone GDP data is due at 0900 GMT.
    Company results on Wednesday were also mixed, with German steelmaker
ThyssenKrupp posting a net loss for the fiscal second quarter through
the end of March, utility RWE's core profit falling slightly in the
first quarter and the London Stock Exchange reporting a 7 percent
increase in full year revenue.
    At 0649 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50 were down 0.1 percent, UK's
FTSE 100 futures rose 0.2 percent, Germany's DAX futures gained
0.1 percent and France's CAC futures were down 0.3 percent.
    On Tuesday, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares
finished 0.5 percent stronger at 1,236.62 points, a closing high not seen since
mid-2008. The index is up about 9 percent so far this year.
    Recent encouraging economic numbers have supported the market and attracted
investors towards riskier assets. U.S. data showed on Tuesday that chain store
sales rose last week, import prices fell in April and a gauge of confidence for
small businesses rose last month to its highest level in six months.
    Investors will keep an eye on U.S. numbers for further signs of a recovery
in the world's biggest economy. Important data to be released later in the day
included weekly mortgage market index at 1100 GMT, New York Federal Reserve's
Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May at 1230 GMT and industrial production
and capacity utilisation for April at 1715 GMT.     
        
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     MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0654 GMT                               
                                              LAST    PCT CHG   NET CHG
     S&P 500                              1,650.34     1.01 %     16.57
     NIKKEI                              15,096.03     2.29 %    337.61
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP   <.MIASJ0000PUS       559.18     0.39 %      2.17
                       >                                       
     EUR/USD                                1.2908    -0.08 %   -0.0010
     USD/JPY                                102.36     0.01 %    0.0100
     10-YR US TSY YLD                        1.963         --     -0.02
     10-YR BUND YLD                          1.390         --      0.02
     SPOT GOLD                           $1,412.76    -0.89 %   -$12.63
     US CRUDE                               $94.05    -0.17 %     -0.16
 
  > Nikkei breaks above 15,000 pts on weak yen, dollar resilient     
  > Wall St jumps as banks lead indexes to new highs                 
  > Nikkei jumps to fresh 5-1/2 yr high, breaks above 15,000         
  > Bond prices fall as stocks draw buyers                           
  > Dollar remains buoyant, close to 4-1/2-yr high vs yen            
  > Gold edges up as dollar eases; snaps 4-day decline               
  > Copper up, supported by optimism over U.S. recovery              
  > Brent holds above $102 as dollar eases, but supply outlook weighs 
    
    COMPANY NEWS
 
    HSBC 
    HSBC said on Wednesday it would target an additional $2 billion to $3
billion in cost savings between 2014 and 2016, as the bank axes jobs and sells
non-core businesses with less than a year left in the first phase of its
restructuring plan. 
    
    JULIUS BAER 
    Swiss private bank Julius Baer said assets under management rose 16 percent
in the first four months of the year, boosted by client inflows from its buy of
Merrill Lynch's non U.S. wealth management business.
    
    SMA SOLAR 
    German solar company SMA Solar reported a lower than expected loss for the
first quarter as it sold more solar inverters in the United States, Japan,
Australia and Thailand. 
    
    SCOR 
    French reinsurer Scor said stable pricing, low payouts and a strong Asia
performance helped it overcome Europe's economic woes to lift first-quarter
profit. 
    
    VIVENDI 
    The entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate posted a 17 percent drop in
first-quarter operating profit on Tuesday as its SFR French mobile division was
hit by fierce competition. 
    
    ALLIANZ 
    Surging revenue and profit at Allianz's ALVG.DE PIMCO asset management unit
gave a strong boost to the insurer's overall performance in the first quarter,
Allianz said on Wednesday. 
    
    RWE      
    Germany's No.2 utility RWE said its core profit fell slightly in the first
quarter, hurt by sluggish wholesale energy prices and falling margins in power
generation. 
    
    SANOFI 
    The drugmaker said it and Regeneron had begun recruiting test
patients for two new trials of their sarilumab arthritis treatment. 
    
    ROCHE 
    U.S. health regulators on Tuesday approved a test developed by Roche for a
specific gene mutation present in about 10 percent of non-small cell lung
cancers, and said the company's drug Tarceva could be used as an initial
treatment in patients with the mutation whose cancer has spread beyond the
lungs.
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