European Factors to Watch-Shares to edge lower, U.S. in focus

Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:49am EDT

LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to edge lower
early on Wednesday, mirroring losses in U.S. and Asian equity markets, with
investors seen trading cautiously before an agreement on the U.S. spending bill
that still faces some resistance.
    Congressional authorisation for the U.S. government to spend money runs out
at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, unless Congress passes a "continuing
resolution" to keep the government running. U.S. politicians are engaged in
serious discussions, but have not yet found a common ground. 
    U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday appeared to fall in line with their
leaders who want to pass an emergency spending bill and avoid government
shutdowns. 
    "With the ... deadline fast approaching, fears over a partial government
shutdown and a failure to raise the debt ceiling, which would result in the U.S.
defaulting on its debt, are continuing to act as a drag on equity markets,"
Craig Erlam, analyst at Alpari said in a note.
    "With little progress being made in these negotiations, investors are likely
to remain somewhat risk averse again."
    At 0645 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, UK's FTSE 100,
Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.1 to 0.2 percent lower.
    The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed 0.2 percent higher
at 1,258.18 points in the previous session. The index, which climbed to a
five-year high last week, is still up 11 percent so far this year.
    Investors will keep a close eye on macroeconomic numbers after German
consumer confidence rose to its highest level in six years heading into October,
supporting expectations strong consumer spending will help Europe's largest
economy to post moderate growth in 2013. 
    Later in the session, focus will be on U.S. weekly mortgage data due at 1100
GMT, new home sales numbers for August at 1400 GMT and U.S. durable goods orders
figures at 1230 GMT.
   
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0645 GMT: 
  
                                                 LAST    PCT CHG   NET CHG
     S&P 500                                 1,697.42    -0.26 %     -4.42
     NIKKEI                                 14,620.53    -0.76 %   -112.08
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP                           540.92    -0.51 %     -2.79
     EUR/USD                                   1.3468    -0.03 %   -0.0004
     USD/JPY                                    98.66    -0.05 %   -0.0500
     10-YR US TSY YLD                           2.659         --      0.00
     10-YR BUND YLD                             1.846         --     -0.01
     SPOT GOLD                              $1,327.31     0.36 %     $4.72
     US CRUDE                                 $103.60     0.46 %      0.47
 
  > Asian shares slip, dollar holds in narrow range                 
  > Dow, S&P 500 extend recent slide, down 4th session                     
  > Nikkei eases on US woes; Tokyo Electron soars on takeover              
  > Prices rally as data supports Fed keeping stimulus                   
  > Euro struggles after data disappoints, yen holds firm                
  > Gold edges up for second session; physical demand soft               
  > London copper inches up after 3-day fall, China demand supports     
  > Brent hovers near $109 as Iran, Fed policy in focus                   
    
    COMPANY NEWS
 
    SCHNEIDER, VEOLIA, EDF 
    Schneider Electric and Dalkia have agreed to set up a partnership to help
them win contracts in China to help the Chinese government meet targets to lower
energy consumption in buildings.
    
    EADS 
    Vietnamese low-cost airline VietJet is in talks with Airbus about an order
for as many as 100 jets worth up to $10 billion, sources familiar with the
discussions said. 
    Airbus unveiled a short-range "regional" version of its A330-300 jet at an
airshow in China, saying the new plane would seat 400 passengers and offer cost
savings of 15 percent. 
    
    BHP BILLITON 
    The world's biggest mining company on Wednesday said global commodities
markets were being undermined by rising supplies of raw materials and warned the
outlook for steel demand in Asia was expected to moderate. 
    
    NORDEA 
    Sweden is to sell its remaining 7 percent stake in Nordea, the Nordic
region's biggest bank, its second sale of Nordea shares this year and giving the
centre-right ruling coalition some fiscal room for manoeuvre ahead of next
year's general election. 
    
    ANGLO AMERICAN 
    The global miner is pleased with progress at an iron ore terminal at LLX'S
 Port of Acu near Rio de Janeiro, the company's CEO Mark Cutifani said
on Tuesday. 
    
    CENTRICA 
    Britain's biggest energy supplier has claimed it could not "continue to
operate" if Labour's price freeze were implemented while costs are rising, the
Daily Telegraph reports. 
    
    HSBC 
    The bank that was fined a record $1.9 billion after an investigation into
money laundering for terrorists and Mexican drug dealers, is to take on 3,000
more compliance officers, according to The Times.
    
    GDF SUEZ 
    The utility is diverting 25 percent of its European liquefied natural gas
supply, or 4 million tonnes, to Asia due to weak demand for the fuel in Europe.
 
    
    A.P. MOLLER-MAERSK 
    Star Air, the cargo airline of the Danish oil and shipping group, could be
divested if the airline fails to extend a contract with courrier group UPS
, travel website Check-In said, citing air freight network Cargo Facts.
Star Air owns 11 Boeing 767 cargo aircraft which are primarily employed by UPS,
but the contract will run out this year, Check-In said. 
    For more on the companies, click on 
    
    SOCIETE GENERALE 
    The French bank is in the early stages of sounding out possible partners in
eastern Europe, the Financial Times reported, citing two people familiar with
the plan. The paper cited Chief Executive Frederic Oudea as saying the bank's
growth plan would be organic. 
    
    PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN 
    Opel is planning to produce the new generation of its Zafira mini-van at a
PSA Peugeot Citroen plant in France, Les Echos reported. 
    
    VOLKSWAGEN 
    Volkswagen plans to double capacity of a newly opened factory in the
southern Chinese city of Foshan, its China chief executive said on Wednesday.
 
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    LUFTHANSA 
    Lufthansa is leaving the door ajar to forming an alliance with any of the
Gulf airlines, the German carrier's chief executive said, even though currently
it sees no benefit in a partnership. 
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