Europe Factors to Watch-Shares to dip on doubt about Fed's move
PARIS, Aug 7 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to dip on Wednesday, mirroring losses on Wall Street after comments from U.S. Federal officials raised doubts about when the central bank could start scaling back its stimulus measures. At 0617 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.1-0.3 percent. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, typically among the most dovish policymakers, said the central bank will probably trim its bond buying programme later this year and could do so as early as next month, depending on the economic data. Another Fed official, Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, told Market News International in an interview that the Fed could begin trimming the size of the stimulus program as soon as September, although it might wait longer if the expected economic growth in the year's second half fails to materialize. Last Friday, tepid U.S. monthly jobs data fuelled expectation the Federal Reserve would be careful not to start cutting back its quantitative easing programme too early, sending stocks higher. U.S. shares fell on Tuesday following the comments from the two Fed officials, with the S&P 500 losing 0.6 percent, while Japan's Nikkei sank 4 percent on Wednesday. "Certainly the added risk that the September FOMC meeting will herald a major announcement has been blamed for the pullback in equities," IG Chief Market Strategist Chris Weston wrote in a note. "It seems to us that the market looks tired and a pullback would be healthy, although on current news flow it's hard to make a case for any more than a 5 percent pullback." Earnings were still at the forefront of investors' minds on Wednesday, with Dutch financial group ING posting lower-than-expected second-quarter net profit, while French bank Natixis posted better-than-expected results. Two thirds of the way through Europe's earnings season, 56 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have met or beaten analyst forecasts, with a particularly strong batch of results coming from French blue-chips - 82 percent have met or beaten forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data - sparking expectations of a French equity renaissance. The mining sector will be in the spotlight on Wednesday, as Glencore Xstrata and JPMorgan Chase & Co face a U.S. lawsuit, along with the London Metal Exchange, alleging they artificially inflated aluminium prices, in the second legal challenge related to metal warehousing in a week. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0622 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,697.37 -0.57 % -9.77 NIKKEI 13,824.94 -4 % -576.12 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 511.01 -1 % -5.16 EUR/USD 1.3308 0.02 % 0.0003 USD/JPY 97.11 -0.64 % -0.6300 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.631 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.689 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,281.90 0.05 % $0.61 US CRUDE $105.33 0.03 % 0.03 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Nikkei leads Asian stocks lower; dollar dips > US STOCKS-Wall St finishes lower on uncertainty about Fed's move > Nikkei slides as strong yen hits exporters; index heavyweights tumble > FOREX-Dollar hits 6-week low vs yen on Fed uncertainty > PRECIOUS-Gold drops to three-week lows on stimulus fears > METALS-Copper slips on caution ahead of China data > Brent near $108, slips on Iran and ahead of China/U.S. data COMPANY NEWS: NATIXIS The French bank reported a 29 percent drop in quarterly net income compared with the year-ago period, which had been flattered by one-off accounting gains linked to a fall in the value of the bank's own debt. ING The Dutch banking and insurance group reported a second-quarter net profit of 788 million euros, below analysts' forecasts and down 39 percent from a year ago. GLENCORE XSTRATA Glencore Xstrata and JPMorgan Chase & Co face a U.S. lawsuit, along with the London Metal Exchange, alleging they artificially inflated aluminium prices, in the second legal challenge related to metal warehousing in a week. DEUTSCHE BANK, COMMERZBANK Angela Merkel's challenger Peer Steinbrueck said he would beef up proposals to separate retail and investment banking activities at German banks, in an effort to shield clients' savings in the event of a bank collapse. "The current bank separation law in Germany is insufficient," Steinbrueck told Reuters. HANNOVER RE The German reinsurer net profit rose by more than expected to 186.3 million euros ($248 million) in the second quarter, allowing the group to confirm its full-year target of earning 800 million euros in net profit. AXEL SPRINGER The German publisher on Wednesday reported better-than-expected second-quarter results as gains at its digital publications offset a drop at its print titles. VOESTALPINE The Austrian steelmaker beat market expectations with slight declines in sales and profits for its first quarter and said it saw the economy stabilising. DANONE China fined six companies including Mead Johnson Nutrition Co, Danone and New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra a total of $110 million following an investigation into price fixing and anti-competitive practices by foreign baby formula makers. DEXIA The nationalised Franco-Belgian financial group posted a smaller net loss in the first half of 2013 than in the same period last year. VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT The city of Berlin is close to agreeing a deal to buy back the French water and waste group's 24.95 percent stake in Berliner Wasserbetriebe, which provides water to the German capital. EADS The UK's advertising watchdog has ruled against Airbus over its complaint that a Boeing advert used misleading figures to promote one of its aircraft against a rival made by the European company. BAYER Bayer AG's experimental drug to treat two types of pulmonary hypertension should be approved at doses proposed by the company, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled on Tuesday. UBS UBS AG agreed to pay $49.8 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges it misled investors about a mortgage bond transaction it structured prior to the 2008 financial crisis, the regulator said on Tuesday.
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