UPDATE 1-European Factors to Watch-Equity futures fall, mixed results may weigh
LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - European equity futures fell early on Friday, with stock markets seen pausing for breath after hitting fresh highs this week while some mixed corporate results may also cause selling pressure. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 futures contract fell 0.4 percent by 0625 GMT. Germany's DAX futures contract edged down by 0.3 percent while France's CAC futures contract fell 0.5 percent. Results out from leading European blue-chip companies painted a mixed picture. German chemicals group BASF beat market forecasts with a rise in third quarter profit but Schneider Electric cut its forecasts while truckmaker Volvo posted a deeper-than-expected fall in quarterly earnings. According to the latest data from Thomson Reuters StarMine, only 57 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies which have reported earnings to date have beaten or met forecasts, roughly in line with the last three quarters. Other traders also said the fact that key European equity indexes were hitting "overbought" territory in technical terms might lead some investors to sell to cash in on the rally so far. "European markets continue to look the strongest, but look a little stretched in the near term," Central Markets chief strategist Richard Perry wrote in a note. Germany's DAX, which hit new record highs this week, has a 9-day relative strength indicator (RSI) reading of 75.8 - above the 70 point level which shows that an index is in technically "overbought" territory. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit new five-year highs this week, also has a RSI reading around the 70 point level. On the macroeconomic front, German IFO and UK gross domestic product (GDP) figures are due out on Friday, while later in the day U.S. durable goods orders data will be published. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT630 GMT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,752.07 0.33 % 5.69 NIKKEI 14,088.19 -2.75 % -398.22 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 550.83 -0.63 % -3.47 EUR/USD 1.3817 0.13 % 0.0018 USD/JPY 97.03 -0.25 % -0.2400 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.509 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.766 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,342.20 -0.32 % -$4.34 US CRUDE $97.08 -0.03 % -0.03 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stock markets fall, dollar near 2-yr low vs euro > US STOCKS-Wall St gains on Fed hopes; Amazon.com up after the bell > Nikkei falls, heads for 1st weekly loss in 3 weeks; Murata jumps > TREASURIES-U.S. bond yields bounce off 3-month lows as rally pauses > FOREX-Dollar on defensive, hits fresh 2-year low vs euro > PRECIOUS-Gold set for second weekly gain on U.S. stimulus hopes > METALS-Copper set to end down for 3rd week in four on demand doubts > Brent rises above $107 on demand hopes; fading supply woes weigh COMPANY NEWS: AXA : AXA, Europe's No. 2 insurer, blamed a stronger euro and seasonal weakness in life insurance for a slowdown in revenue growth in the first nine months of the year. BASF : BASF, the world's largest chemicals company by sales, exceeded expectations for quarterly earnings on higher margins from specialty chemicals for industrial customers. BBVA : Spain's second-biggest bank BBVA said on Friday it was changing its dividend policy and looking to distribute between 35 percent and 40 percent of profits annually, solely in cash. SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC : France's Schneider Electric posted slower quarterly organic growth and lowered its full-year forecasts on Friday, blaming adverse currency moves, a weak Europe and timing uncertainties over the integration of Invensys. VOLVO : World number two truck maker Volvo posted a deeper-than-expected fall in third-quarter earnings as costs for the launch of a vast range of new trucks and fierce currency headwinds took a heavy toll. RENAULT : French carmaker Renault said third-quarter revenue fell 3.2 percent as Iran sanctions and weaker emerging market currencies more than offset gains in pricing and sales volumes. ST GOBAIN : France's Saint-Gobain stuck to its full-year targets on Thursday, saying robust growth in emerging markets, an upturn in the U.S. construction market and stabilisation in Europe would help it offset the impact of volatile currencies. VINCI : Vinci stuck to its full-year outlook on Thursday after reporting a 5.5 percent rise in quarterly sales, driven by construction and improved traffic on its motorways. BELGACOM : Belgian telecoms group Belgacom reported a 7.7 percent decline in third quarter core profits, as an improved performance of its fixed internet and digital TV business did not make up for falls in mobile phone revenues. CARREFOUR : French retailer Carrefour SA hired two investment banks to prepare an initial public offering for its Brazil unit, according to a report published on the website of business magazine Exame late on Thursday. ATOS : French IT-services company Atos said third-quarter revenue fell 1.8 percent on a like-for-like basis, hit by weak demand in Europe, although it kept its full-year profitability targets on Friday. UCB : Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB confirmed its full-year guidance on Friday after growth of its three new medicines almost made up for declining sales of its former blockbuster epilepsy treatment in the first nine months. USG PEOPLE : Dutch staffing firm USG People beat forecasts for third-quarter operating profit on Friday thanks to a pick-up in Europe, and said it expected that trend to continue in the fourth quarter.