European Factors to Watch-Shares seen steady near 5-year highs
LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - European shares were set for a steady open on Friday, with investors seen consolidating trading positions after a rally drove markets to five year highs a day earlier on the U.S. central bank's decision to delay a cut in stimulus. Investors were reluctant to place strong bets after U.S. shares retreated on Thursday, with the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes falling 0.2 to 0.3 percent. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei average and MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan both fell 0.1 percent on Friday. At 0627 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were flat. Commodity shares could face some selling pressure on Friday after prices of crude oil and major industrial metals such as copper and aluminium fell. However, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares, which ended 0.6 percent higher at 1,265.95 points on Thursday which marked a level not seen since mid-2008, was on track to post its third straight week of gains. Investors' focus will now shift to U.S. budget negotiations, which have the potential to keep markets choppy. Washington faces twin deadlines, with a budget deal needed by Sept. 30 to avoid a federal government shutdown and a separate agreement necessary by mid-October to prevent the United States from defaulting on its national debt. "The inability to accomplish either of these would bring government spending of areas such as defence and healthcare to a standstill, whilst the debt limit alone has the potential to push the U.S. treasury into default considering the ongoing fiscal obligations," Joshua Mahony, analyst at Alpari, said. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0627 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,722.34 -0.18 % -3.18 NIKKEI 14,742.42 -0.16 % -23.76 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 548.55 -0.02 % -0.09 EUR/USD 1.3537 0.06 % 0.0008 USD/JPY 99.32 -0.11 % -0.1100 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.735 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 1.922 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,361.84 -0.19 % -$2.55 US CRUDE $106.16 -0.22 % -0.23 > Asian shares run out of steam after Fed-sparked rally > Street pulls back following Fed-driven rally > Nikkei steadies near 2-mth high on weaker yen, Fed surprise wears off > Yields rise as investors grapple with Fed policy > Dollar holds above post-Fed lows; yen gets some respite > Gold heads for best week in five after Fed surprise > London copper eyes biggest weekly climb in a year > Brent inches down towards $108; Syria, Iran in focus COMPANY NEWS OERLIKON, SULZER Swiss industrial group OC Oerlikon has submitted a bid for Sulzer's coating unit Metco, the company said in a statement on Friday. For more, click on: ADIDAS Adidas warned on 2013 profit on Thursday, saying adverse currency effects, a distribution problem in Russia and poor trading at its golf business meant targets were no longer attainable. GLAXOSMITHKLINE GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance's new inhaled lung drug Relvar has been recommended for approval in Europe, Britain's biggest drugmaker said on Thursday. ACS Spanish builder Dragados has received acceptances from the majority of Pol-Aqua shareholders in its bid for the remaining 34 percent stake in the Polish construction company it did not already own, parent company ACS said on Thursday. AIR FRANCE-KLM Air France-KLM will decide what to do with its stake in Italian airline Alitalia SpA next week, according to two media reports on Thursday. Separately, a trade union of Air France flight attendants called on Thursday for its members to strike from Nov. 20 to Nov. 24 over a fresh round of cost cuts and plans to lay off 2,800 workers. TELECOM ITALIA Telecom Italia Chairman Franco Bernabe and core shareholders failed in hastily-convened talks on Thursday to bridge differences on how to relaunch the debt-laden group ahead of a board meeting early next month. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L is selling shares worth about 630 million pounds ($1 billion) in insurer Direct Line Group DLGD.L, putting it on course to shed all of its holding well before a regulatory deadline to do so. ACKERMANS Belgium's Ackermans & Van Haaren will acquire a majority stake in construction group CFE by buying shares from France's Vinci, the groups said on Thursday. DEXIA Belgian financial group Dexia has entered into exclusive talks with New York Life Investments to sell its asset management unit, it said late on Thursday. GDF SUEZ French utility GDF Suez said on Thursday it had signed its first long-term contract with the Shah Deniz consortium for 2.6 billion cubic meters per year of gas from the Caspian Sea's field. RWE RWE said it plans to pay a dividend of 1 euro per common or preferred share for 2013, down from 2 euros previously, and will cut its future payout ratio to 40-50 percent of net profit, from 50-60 percent previously, as the renewable energies bite. It stuck to its 2013 earnings targets, however. Related news DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc confirmed on Thursday they will not participate in Canada's upcoming auction of prized wireless spectrum, joining larger rival Verizon Communications Inc in shunning the market. Related news AIRBUS Deutsche Lufthansa unveiled a $19 billion order for new jets on Thursday as its outgoing chief executive warned the historic investment must not dilute the resolve of Europe's largest airline to stay in the black. The deal for 59 new jets, split between Boeing and Airbus, will see the German flag carrier launch a new and larger version of Boeing's 777 long-range jet.