Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to rise ahead of HSBC results
PARIS, Aug 5 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to inch up in early trade on Monday, tracking gains on Wall Street where the S&P 500 ended at a record high after tepid U.S. jobs data fuelled expectations of continued support from the Federal Reserve. At 0626 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.2 percent. Friday's lower-than-expected U.S. payrolls report was seen making the Fed more cautious about scaling back its massive economic stimulus programme, and cast some doubt on whether the central bank would start reducing its bond purchases in September. A Reuters poll on Friday found that fewer U.S. primary dealers expect the Fed to begin reducing economic stimulus in September than they did a month ago, with dealers now split over whether the central bank will cut back on buying in September or in the following few months. "Investors reasoned that the softer number would make it much less likely that the Fed would be in the mood to begin a tapering program at its next meeting in September," CMC Markets Senior Market Analyst Michael Hewson wrote in a note. Fresh data from China was seen supporting the market on Monday, with figures showing activity in China's services sector slightly expanding last month, as new business orders recovered from a multi-year low in a sign of resilience. The banking sector will be in the spotlight on Monday, with HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, set to report half-year profit, expected to rise 15 percent to more than $14 billion as a three-year cost-cutting plan starts to pay off. Also on the earnings front, Dutch mail group PostNL reported a better-than-expected 15.3 percent fall in its underlying second-quarter operating profit and said it was on track to meet its 2015 targets. More than half way into Europe's earnings season, 56 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have met or beaten analyst forecasts. A particularly strong batch of results came from France and Germany, where about 80 percent of blue chips have met or beaten forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. The food sector will also be in focus on Monday after New Zealand's Fonterra , the world's biggest dairy exporter, said it had found bacteria in some products that could cause botulism, and said contaminated whey protein concentrate had been exported to a number of Asian countries including China, and used in products including infant milk powder and sports drinks. In response, China has halted the import of some dairy products, while food producers including Danone said they have recalled products that may have contained the contaminated whey. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index gained 2.5 percent last week, recording its fourth consecutive weekly gain. The index, which has surged 13 percent since late June, is less than 2 percent below a near two-year high hit in late May. The benchmark index hit 'overbought territory' on Friday with its 14-day relative strength index (RSI) reading of 70. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0628 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,709.67 0.16 % 2.8 NIKKEI 14,258.04 -1.44 % -208.12 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 521.33 0.3 % 1.57 EUR/USD 1.3274 -0.05 % -0.0007 USD/JPY 98.40 -0.54 % -0.5300 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.609 -- 0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.639 -- -0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,316.05 0.35 % $4.55 US CRUDE $107.19 0.23 % 0.25 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares, dollar soft after tepid US jobs > U.S. STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 end at record for 2nd day despite tepid jobs > Nikkei slips as stronger yen hits exporters; Toyota down after earnings > FOREX-Kiwi hit by food scare; Aussie falls on flat retail sales > PRECIOUS-Gold inches up on weak jobs data, stimulus hopes > METALS-Copper edges down on dimming outlook for China growth > Brent rises above $109 on China data; Iran comments weigh COMPANY NEWS: DANONE Fonterra's share price and the kiwi dollar slid on Monday after the dairy giant warned of potentially contaminated products, raising safety concerns that threaten New Zealand's $9 billion annual dairy trade and prompting China to halt imports. In response, China has halted the import of some dairy products from New Zealand and Australia, New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries said. Food producers including Danone said they have recalled products that may have contained the contaminated whey. POSTNL Dutch mail group reported a better-than-expected 15.3 percent fall in its underlying second-quarter operating profit and said it was on track to meet its 2015 targets. VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT French water and waste group posted a sharp drop in first-half net profit, hurt by to goodwill impairments and restructuring charges, although the firm confirmed its earnings objectives for 2013. NATIXIS The French bank plans to shed 500 to 700 workers with a voluntary departure scheme that is to be negotiated with unions in September, the Journal de Dimanche reported. CARREFOUR French billionaire Bernard Arnault and U.S. investment fund Colony Capital said on Friday they planned to change the structure of their joint shareholding in retail giant Carrefour. ROCHE India has partly revoked patents granted to Roche Holding AG for its breast cancer drug Herceptin, a spokesman for the drugmaker confirmed on Sunday. TELECOM ITALIA British telecoms provider Vodafone Group is suing Telecom Italia for abusing its dominant position in Italy, seeking damages of more than 1 billion euros. DAIMLER The carmaker plans to build a new plant in Brazil as rising taxes on foreign vehicles make it more difficult to sell imported cars in the Latin American country, a magazine reported on Sunday. RWE The German utility will sell its 50 percent stake in U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Excelerate Energy to the co-owner, George B. Kaiser, the company said on Friday.
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