Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to rebound after 2-day dip
PARIS, Sept 24 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to inch higher on Tuesday, snapping a two-session retreat, although gains were seen limited by uncertainty over the timing of U.S. Federal Reserve's scaling back of its stimulus measures. At 0628 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were flat to up 0.2 percent. German Bund futures opened 1 tick higher at 138.79. On Monday, William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech the timeline that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke articulated in June for scaling back the central bank's stimulus measures is "still very much intact", as long as the economy keeps improving. At a separate event, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said the Fed had hurt its credibility and had urged colleagues to support a $10 billion reduction in the Fed's bond-buying programme at last week's meeting. 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. "Tapering uncertainty continues to keep traders risk appetite in check," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria wrote in a note. European stocks have now erased all their gains triggered by the Fed's surprise decision, although the broad STOXX Europe 600 is still up 5.2 percent so far this month, on track to post its best monthly performance in two years, and its best month of September since 1997. Despite the gains expected at the open on Tuesday, Aurel BGC chartist Gerard Sagnier warned that stocks may be entering a phase of consolidation. "Indexes are showing signs of weakness, with a key support level broken on the S&P 500 and a number of short-term support levels broken in Europe. But for now, the retreat could be limited, around 2 to 3 percent on the downside," he said. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0623 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,701.84 -0.47 % -8.07 NIKKEI 14,732.61 -0.07 % -9.81 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 544.29 -0.49 % -2.67 EUR/USD 1.3501 0.07 % 0.0009 USD/JPY 98.93 0.11 % 0.1100 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.695 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.907 -- -0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,323.80 0.17 % $2.26 US CRUDE $103.45 -0.14 % -0.14 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares lose ground, Fed the usual suspect > US STOCKS-Wall St falls on Fed officials' comments, Washington worries > Nikkei dips on Fed taper concerns; iPhone suppliers shine > FOREX-Dovish central banks keep euro and dollar pinned down > PRECIOUS-Gold firms after 3-day drop, Fed uncertainty persists > METALS-London copper slips on prospect of swell in supply > Brent edges down near $108 ahead of Iran nuclear talks COMPANY NEWS: TELECOM ITALIA, TELEFONICA Spain's telecoms group Telefonica has reached an agreement to raise its stake in Telco, the holding company that controls Telecom Italia. to an initial 65 percent with an option to bring the stake to around 70 percent, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Monday. FIAT Chrysler Group LLC on Monday filed paperwork for an initial public offering, an action that could slow majority owner Fiat's plans to take full ownership of the U.S. automaker. ALITALIA, AIR FRANCE Air France-KLM deferred a decision on whether to offer more help for struggling Alitalia on Monday, saying it needed more information about its Italian partner's finances. MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena holds board meeting to approve restructuring plan on Tuesday. Italy's troubled lender asked a London court on Monday to stay or dismiss legal action by Japan's Nomura 8604.T over risky derivatives trades that got the Tuscan bank into deep trouble. AXA AXA Private Equity is considering selling natural ingredient maker Diana in a deal which could be worth 1 billion euros, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. NOKIA Taiwan-based HTC infringed on two of Nokia's patents in making its mobile telephones and tablets, a judge said in a preliminary ruling issued late on Monday for the U.S. International Trade Commission. Separately, Nokia's smartphone rival BlackBerry agreed to go private in a $4.7 billion deal led by its biggest shareholder. VIVENDI Activision Blizzard will make its argument before Delaware's Supreme Court next month to overturn a lower court's surprise decision to halt the video game company's planned $8.2 billion deal with the French media conglomerate. BASF Germany's Wintershall, the oil and gas arm of chemicals group BASF, said it signed an agreement to search for oil in Argentina's "Vaca Muerta" field, considered one of the largest shale reserves in the western hemisphere. BP The energy firm asked a U.S. court on Monday to halt payments from its settlement agreement for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico until the claims administrator improves accounting and anti-fraud controls. GLAXOSMITHKILNE The drugmaker's sales in China may have dropped 30 percent since authorities accused it of corruption, disrupting its ability to market medicines in the country, according to analyst estimates. AFRICAN BARRICK GOLD The UK-listed miner's chief executive Brad Gordon said the struggling gold miner could be independent of Barrick Gold Corp within 12 to 18 months, if the 74 percent parent restarted attempts to divest the company, according to the Financial Times. UBS, CREDIT SUISSE A U.S. regulator filed lawsuits against Morgan Stanley and eight other banks, including Credit Suisse and UBS, over the sale of nearly $2.4 billion in mortgage-backed securities to two credit unions that later failed, according to a filing. 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