Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to inch up; eyes on Syria
PARIS, Sept 4 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to inch higher on Wednesday, reversing the previous session's dip while U.S. lawmakers' support for military action against Syria kept investors on edge. At 0622 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. Late on Tuesday, leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached an agreement on a draft authorisation for the use of force in Syria, paving the way for a vote by the committee on Wednesday. However, the draft is much narrower than the request made by President Barack Obama and includes a provision barring the use of U.S. troops on the ground. European oil majors including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total could find support in buoyant oil prices, with Brent crude holding above $115 a barrel on Wednesday, close to its highest in almost a week. The STOXX Europe 600 oil and gas sector index has strongly outperformed the broad market since mid-August when expectations of a U.S. military strike against Syrian first emerged. The sector is up 4.2 percent since then, while the broader STOXX 600 is down 2.4 percent. Inversely, shares in airlines could feel the pinch of buoyant oil prices, while Ryanair is set to be in the spotlight after saying it could miss its full-year profit forecast. U.S. stocks ended higher on Tuesday, but well off session highs after top Republicans, including John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, voiced support for Obama's call for military strikes against Syria. On Tuesday, European stocks' week-long rally paused, as renewed worries over Syria overshadowed a 34 percent surge in Nokia after Microsoft agreed to buy the Finnish firm's phone business. The FTSEurofirst 300 has gained nearly 2 percent since a low last Wednesday, fuelled by M&A activity and worldwide factory data showing the global economic recovery was on track. Despite the week-long rally however, Day-by-Day chartist Julien Nebenzahl remains cautious on the market's near-term direction. "Indexes have been losing steam in the last few weeks and investors should wait for a real pull-back in the next few months to get in," he said. "Tactically, the current levels are not good entry points. People shouldn't be buying stocks now, they should buy protection instead." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0616 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,639.77 0.42 % 6.8 NIKKEI 14,053.87 0.54 % 75.43 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 513.54 0.01 % 0.03 EUR/USD 1.3164 -0.04 % -0.0005 USD/JPY 99.78 0.22 % 0.2200 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.880 -- 0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.935 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,407.46 -0.32 % -$4.58 US CRUDE $108.09 -0.41 % -0.45 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks snap 4-day rally on Syria concerns > US STOCKS-Wall St up but rally fizzles on support for Syria strike > Nikkei slips from 3-week high on profit-taking; Canon jumps > FOREX-Dollar steady, underpinned by Fed tapering expectations > PRECIOUS-Gold holds up as Obama garners support for Syria strike > METALS-Copper drifts as Syria dents risk appetite > Brent holds above $115, Syria concerns stoke supply fears COMPANY NEWS: RYANAIR Ryanair said on Wednesday it could miss its full-year profit forecast as competition, austerity and exchange rates hit forward bookings. BANKINTER, CREDIT AGRICOLE French bank Credit Agricole said it had begun the sale of its remaining 7.6 percent stake in Spain's Bankinter, as it turns the page on years of foreign expansion to focus on its home market. TELECOM ITALIA Core investors in Telecom Italia are seeking to sell their stakes, people familiar with the situation said, a move that could leave the country's largest telecom operator open to a takeover bid. PROSIEBENSAT.1 KKR and Permira have started the sale of an 11 percent stake in the German free-to-air broadcaster. They are looking to sell at a price of around 31 euros a share, according to a person familiar with the launched accelerated bookbuilding process. EADS The head of the company that manufactures Super Puma helicopters defended their safety record as UK oilfield flights resumed after a fatal crash last month, and said deliveries of the latest model had recovered following modifications. LVMH HERMES Luxury goods group LVMH said on Tuesday it would not appeal a fine imposed by France's markets watchdog AMF in relation to LVMH's stake-building in rival Hermes. ILIAD NJJ Holding, the investment holding of Iliad founder Xavier Niel, is offering to sell 1.736 million shares in French telecom operator Iliad in a private placement via an accelerated bookbuilding, representing around 3 percent of the group's market cap, sole book runner BNP Paribas said on Wednesday. PEUGEOT BMW European carmakers PSA Peugeot Citroen and BMW have decided against extending their partnership on small petrol engines after it expires in 2016, Les Echos.fr said on Tuesday, citing a source close to the German carmaker. IMERYS Imerys said on Tuesday it was studying an offer from global rival Omya for the acquisition of four of its calcium carbonate industrial sites. The sites are located in Europe and the United States and made a total revenue of 75 million euros in 2012.