Europe Factors to Watch-Stocks set for mixed open; Germany eyed
PARIS, Sept 23 (Reuters) - European stocks were set for a mixed open on Monday following a pull-back on Wall Street, although German equities were set inch higher after the re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel. On Sunday, Angela Merkel won a landslide personal victory in Germany's election, although her conservatives appeared just short of the votes needed to rule on their own and may have to convince leftist rivals to join a coalition government. "Her re-election is a sign of political stability and markets love stability. It's one less risk event to worry about," said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading, at Global Equities. "Her really good score will also give her room for manoeuvre, and hopefully we will see the focus for Europe shifting from austerity to stimulus. We're just getting out of the debt crisis, what we need now is measures to boost consumer spending." At 0615 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50 were down 0.1 percent, for UK's FTSE 100 down 0.1 percent, for Germany's DAX up 0.1 percent and for France's CAC down 0.1 percent. U.S. shares dropped on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 losing 0.7 percent, as investors started to worry about the reasons behind the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to maintain its stimulus measures as they heard opposing viewpoints from top Fed officials. Last week, equity markets worldwide strongly rallied after the Fed decided not to trim down its quantitative easing programme, but the euphoria was short-lived as investors started to see the Fed's decision as a sign that the U.S. economy was losing steam. Commodity-related shares could find support on Monday in better-than-expected manufacturing data from China. Figures showed the country's factory sector grew at its fastest pace in six months in September, adding momentum to China's tentative turnaround in economic growth. Investors were also awaiting a raft of manufacturing data from France, Germany and the euro zone on Monday, set to confirm an improvement in the region's economy. Japanese markets were closed on Monday for a holiday. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0617 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,709.91 -0.72 % -12.43 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 546.80 0.01 % 0.03 EUR/USD 1.3538 0.12 % 0.0016 USD/JPY 98.93 -0.37 % -0.3700 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.736 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.941 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,324.60 -0.03 % -$0.39 US CRUDE $104.63 -0.11 % -0.12 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares helped by upbeat China data > Wall St ends down as Fed officials weigh in > FOREX-Euro steady after German election; Aussie up on China flash PMI > PRECIOUS-Gold drops on fresh stimulus fears, weak buying from China > METALS-Copper eases for 2nd day, rising supply weighs > Brent stays above $109 on upbeat China PMI data COMPANY NEWS: DEUTSCHE BANK Germany's biggest lender will warn next week of a slowdown in fixed income revenue and add to gloomy comments from rivals about recent trading, the Financial Times reported on Friday. Deutsche Bank declined to comment. FRESENIUS, RHOEN-KLINIKUM The health group on Saturday rebuffed concerns by the Verdi labour union that as many as 7,000 jobs could be lost over its purchase of hospitals from rival Rhoen-Klinikum RHKG.DE. INFINEON The chipmaker expects to beat its profit target by about a fifth this financial year as demand from industrial customers is improving, Boersen-Zeitung reported, citing CFO Dominik Asam. A goal of 5 billion euros of sales may not be reached until 2016, a year later than originally planned, Asam was quoted as saying. UBI BANCA, CARIPARMA Moody's has placed mid-sized Italian lenders UBI Banca and Cariparma on review for a ratings downgrade, citing weakening profitability and deteriorating asset quality. RWE Germany's No. 2 utility may cut more jobs than planned as it battles sluggish demand for energy in a struggling European economy, Die Welt reported on Saturday, citing an interview with CEO Peter Terium. ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT The group said clients pulled 1.2 billion pounds ($1.92 billion) from its funds in the two months to the end of August, as investors became nervous ahead of a decision about the direction of U.S. monetary policy. TELEFONICA, TELECOM ITALIA Spain's Telefonica is in talks with other core shareholders to keep Telecom Italia's ownership structure unchanged for six months, two sources with knowledge of the situation said on Friday. UBS The global asset management division of Swiss bank UBS AG is among the final bidders for Australian toll road operator RiverCity Motorway Ltd, expected to sell for more than A$600 million ($563.22 million), people familiar with the process said. CREDIT AGRICOLE The French bank is considering a reorganisation that could bolster the powers of the regional savings banks that are its main shareholders, two French newspapers reported. AREVA Niger has ordered an audit of the French nuclear group's uranium mines in the West African country as it presses for a better deal in talks over a new long-term contract, Mining Minister Omar Hamidou Tchiana told Reuters. FIAT The Italian carmaker is planning to take full control of the diesel engine manufacturer VM Motori by buying out the half of the company owned by joint venture partner General Motors, Fiat said on Saturday. AIR FRANCE The airline's board is reportedly due to meet on Monday to decide whether to bid for control of Alitalia by the end of this year. MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA The lender may shut another 200 branches on top of the 400 the bank is already shedding as part of a new turnaround plan it will unveil next week to meet European Union demands and try avoid nationalisation, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday, citing advisors to the bank. THYSSENKRUPP The steelmaker won support from banks to extend credit lines worth 2.5 billion euros and may be able to reap as much as 1.6 billion euros from a planned share sale, WirtschaftsWoche reported on Saturday, without citing the source. ThyssenKrupp declined to comment.