European Factors to Watch-Weak Chinese trade data hurts sentiment
LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - European stocks were set for a cautious start on Wednesday, after two straight sessions of gains, with miners and exporters likely to be under pressure in the wake of soft Chinese trade data. Adding to the cautious tone in Europe, Standard & Poor's late on Tuesday cut Italy's sovereign credit rating and left it on negative watch for possible further downgrades, citing concerns about the economy. At 0615 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were down 0.2 to 0.3 percent. "There's more bad news out of China and Italy's downgrade - which was not entirely unexpected - so markets are probably going to open a little bit lower," said Neil Marsh, strategist at Newedge. "I am still underlying bullish but there is lots of hesitation." China warned of a "grim" outlook for trade after reporting unexpected falls in both exports and imports in June, signalling easing weakening demand both within its borders and in the broader global economy. Markets are also likely to be jittery ahead of the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting, due after the European market close, as investors seek clues on when the U.S. central bank will start to scale back its equity-friendly stimulus policies. Spanish shares, however, could get a boost after Wilbur Ross, the U.S. billionaire who has made 65 percent profit on his 2011 investment in a struggling Bank of Ireland (BOI) told Reuters he is likely to bid for banks or financial assets in Spain over the next few months. The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed up 9.27 points, or 0.8 percent, at 1,188.95, extending a rebound that has seen the index rally more than 6.5 percent from June lows. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0615 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1652.32 0.72 11.86 NIKKEI 14416.60 -0.39 -56.30 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 500.36 0.57 2.82 EUR/USD 1.2787 0.04 0.0005 USD/JPY 100.61 -0.53 -0.52 10-YR BUND YLD 98.815 0.15 0.145 SPOT GOLD 1247.31 -- -1.53 US CRUDE 104.36 0.80 0.83 > Asian shares pare gains after weak China trade data > Wall St rises for fourth day on earnings hope, FedEx jumps > Nikkei falls as dismal China data raise growth concerns > U.S. bond prices end little changed > Dollar bulls in form, Aussie slips on weak China trade data > Gold falls after two-day rise on China growth fears > Copper slips as grim China trade data stoke demand worries > Brent slips towards $107 on concerns of weakness in China economy > TOP NEWS on European companies BURBERRY The British luxury brand maintained its full-year guidance as it posted an 18 percent rise in first quarter underlying retail revenue, driven by robust demand for spring/summer fashion. ROCHE Roche said it would stop developing aleglitazar, a diabetes treatment, due to undesired side effects and lack of effectiveness. SODEXO The French catering-to-vouchers group said it expects full-year revenue growth to range between 1-2 percent as previously forecast after solid demand in Latin America and Europe slightly lifted third-quarter sales. NOVARTIS Novartis psoriasis drug secukinumab was superior to Amgen's Enbrel in a late-stage study, the Swiss company said on Monday, putting it in line to become the first of a clutch of new treatments to gain market approval. GLENCORE XSTRATA The company is looking to sell its Dakota Growers Pasta Co business in a deal which could value the pasta maker at $300-400 million, three sources with knowledge of the process told Reuters. DEUTSCHE ANNINGTON The German real estate company has set the price for its market debut at 16.50 euros ($21.10) per share, at the low end of its subscription price range, giving it a market capitalisation of 3.7 billion euros. TELECOM ITALIA Telecom Italia's plan to spin off its domestic phone lines has won plaudits from the telecommunications regulator, who said the move was bold and innovative and could earn the former monopoly regulatory benefits. FIAT Fiat will put new investments on hold until it gets a clearer idea of the impact of a court ruling that a portion of Italy's labour rules are unconstitutional. FIAT INDUSTRIAL Italian truck and tractor maker Fiat Industrial's shareholders approved a merger with its U.S. division CNH on Tuesday in what may be a template for a later link-up between sister company Fiat and Chrysler. FRENCH BANKS The French government will transfer 25 billion euros ($31.96 billion) of state-guaranteed savings deposits to banks, in a potential boost to their capital ratios, Les Echos reports, citing a government decree. EDF, GDF SUEZ, ORANGE The partially state-owned utilities could be among candidates for the French government to sell stakes to fund a 12 billion euro public investment drive in the coming years. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Tuesday opened the door to such sales but he did not say which companies could be involved. FAURECIA The French auto parts maker will announce on Wednesday that it plans to sell one of its French factories and cut jobs at another as it grapples with the slump in demand hitting European automakers, Les Echos reports.