Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set extend tentative rebound
PARIS, June 17 (Reuters) - European stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, with shares set to extend Friday's tentative rebound, although gains were seen capped ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later this week which could shed light on the Fed's stimulus programme. At 0628 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.4-0.5 percent. Uncertainty over the outlook for the Fed's quantitative easing programme has dragged on equities in the past few weeks with the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index losing 6.5 percent since late May. Investors have been nervous since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last month said the central bank may decide to trim its programme within the next few Fed policy meetings if data shows the economy is gaining steam. At the end of the Fed's two-day meeting on Wednesday, Bernanke is expected to say that the U.S. economy is still too weak to justify slowing the pace of bond buying in the short term, although without disavowing last month's remarks. "Although there is no possibility of Bernanke back tracking on the whole tapering issue, he may try and highlight the fact that near zero interest rates will remain well after quantitative easing has ended as some form of consolation," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria wrote in a note. Boosting sentiment on Monday, Japan's Nikkei share average was up 2.7 percent, recovering the 13,000 mark, as buying in defensive stocks helped reverse early losses, nudging the index out of bear market territory. Oil services stocks will be in the spotlight after Italy's Saipem took an axe to its outlook for the second time this year as rapidly deteriorating relations with Algeria prompted it to predict a net loss for the year. The Euro STOXX 50 rose 0.2 percent on Friday, snapping a four-session selloff during which the index had lost 2.3 percent. The index's next resistance level will be at 2,672.7 points, representing the 23.6 percent Fibonacci retracement of the latest selloff. Above it, the next resistance is at 2,706.87, the 38.2 percent retracement. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0519 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,626.73 -0.59 % -9.63 NIKKEI 13,033.12 2.73 % 346.6 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 516.09 0.5 % 2.59 EUR/USD 1.3332 -0.1 % -0.0014 USD/JPY 94.91 0.89 % 0.8400 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.146 -- 0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.543 -- 0.03 SPOT GOLD $1,387.34 -0.21 % -$2.86 US CRUDE $97.83 -0.02 % -0.02 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares capped before Fed meeting > Wall St slides in volatile week, eyes on the Fed > Nikkei advances on gains in defensive stocks, crawls out of bear market > FOREX-Dollar gains vs yen but seen on hold as Fed meeting looms > PRECIOUS-Gold marks time as investors await stimulus outlook > METALS-London copper rises on short-covering ahead of Fed > Brent dips below $106 as focus back on demand, stocks COMPANY NEWS: EADS After the maiden flight of Airbus A350 last Friday, Airbus is asking the German government to pay the remaining 600 million euros ($800 million) of the 1.1 billion euro it was promised as start-up financing for the A350 project, Focus magazine reported, citing production head Guenter Butschek. EADS rival Boeing will launch a new and larger version of its lightweight 787 Dreamliner at this week's Paris Airshow with up to 100 orders worth just under $30 billion, industry sources said on Sunday. GDF SUEZ, FRANCE TELECOM French President Francois Hollande ruled out an early sale of any state holdings in France Telecom or utility GDF Suez, saying market valuations were too low. Hollande also said France Telecom chief executive Stephane Richard had state backing to stay in his post as long as an inquiry into fraud allegations did not affect his work. SAIPEM Italy's oil service group took an axe to its outlook for the second time this year as rapidly deteriorating relations with Algeria prompted it to predict a net loss for the year. TELIASONERA The Nordic telecom operator said on Sunday it had picked Johan Dennelind, the current chief executive of South Africa's Vodacom International, as its new CEO. EUTELSAT France's Eutelsat Communications SA and U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co are among the suitors to place first-round bids for Singapore Telecommunications Ltd's Australian satellite unit, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said. ABB ABB said on Monday Ulrich Spiesshofer, currently head of the company's discrete automation and motion division, will replace departing Chief Executive Joe Hogan, taking up the role on September 15. ROCHE Japan's health ministry has approved drug Avastin for the treatment of aggressive brain cancer in Japan, Swiss pharmaceuticals company Roche said on Monday. BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA Rating agency Standard & Poor's lowered on Friday its long-term counterparty credit rating on the Tuscan lender to 'B' from 'BB', and affirmed the 'B' short-term rating. The agency subsequently withdrew all the rating at lender's request. ENI Workers at Libya's Abu Attifel oilfield, a joint venture with Italy's Eni, have shut down production in protest over salaries, two industry sources said on Saturday, in the latest disruption to the country's oil industry. FONDIARIA-SAI, UNIPOL Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway and Liberty Mutual said to have made non-binding offers for some of the insurance assets Unipol must sell after its merger with peer Fondiaria-SAI, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday.
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