European Factors to Watch-Shares to pause; M&A to boost Fresenius
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen edging lower on Friday as investors took a breather after two weeks of solid gains in anticipation of a tightening in the flow of cheap U.S. money next week.
With the main indexes seen moving in a narrow range, investors were expected to focus on acquisition activity. German healthcare group Fresenius SE was seen opening around 3 percent higher as the firm bought 43 hospitals from Rhön-Klinikum.
At 0619 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent lower.
The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 is hovering near its highest level since 2011 at 2,870.18, having risen 5 percent since late August.
Better-than-expected economic data in Europe has helped investors shrug off concerns about violence in Syria and a likely reduction in the Federal Reserve's asset-purchase programme, which has helped the Euro STOXX 50 rise nearly 20 percent in the past year.
Credit Agricole said U.S. data out on Friday, expected to show an increase in U.S. retail sales and consumer expectations, should underpin expectations the Fed will cut its stimulus programme at a meeting on Sept 17-18 and keep any stock market gains in check.
"With U.S. ... data set to come in more or less in line with consensus today, this element of caution is likely to stay until the crucial decision on whether to start tapering, and could be amplified if something dramatic happens regarding the ongoing Syria negotiations," the bank's strategists said in a note.
Yet technical charts pointed to further upside for the Euro STOXX 50 and the index could be poised to rise as high as 3,077, its 2011 top, according to Nicolas Suiffet, an a analyst at Trading Central.
"The breakaway gap that occurred on last Tuesday above the 20-day simple moving average is a positive signal calling for a further rise on a short term basis," he said.
"The 20-week simple moving average currently at 2,743 should act as a trailing stop for buyers."
Shares in Rhön-Klinikum were indicated 27 percent higher in pre-market trade as the German healthcare group agreed to sell 43 hospitals to Fresenius SE for 3.07 billion euros ($4.1 billion), allowing Rhön-Klinikum to pay a special dividend and to consider a share buyback.
British-listed telecoms group Vodafone b was also in focus as it said it has secured the 75 percent of shares in Kabel Deutschland needed for its 7.7 billion-euro ($10 billion) offer for Germany's largest cable company to succeed. > Asian shares fall, dollar defensive as Fed stimulus cut looms > US stocks retreat after 7 up sessions; miners lead decline > Nikkei edges up in choppy trade; Fed's decision awaited > Treasuries barely higher on unease ahead of Fed meeting > Dollar index inches up, but on track for weekly loss > PRECIOUS-Gold heads for worst week in 2 months on Syria, Fed > LME copper near 5-week low, eyes third weekly loss in four > Brent extends gains but still set for weekly loss
German diversified healthcare group Fresenius SE has agreed to buy 43 hospitals from Rhoen-Klinikum AG for 3.07 billion euros ($4.09 billion), the companies said on Friday.
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