Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to fall after French downgrade
PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to fall on Friday, slipping from five-year highs hit in the previous session, as S&P's credit rating downgrade of France revives worries over the health of the euro zone. Investors were also fretting about stronger-than-expected U.S. economic growth data, which rekindled expectations that the Federal Reserve may trim its stimulus measures this year. Standard & Poor's lowered its long-term sovereign credit ratings on France on Friday by one notch to 'AA' from 'AA+'. S&P said high unemployment is weakening support for further significant fiscal and structural policy measures, adding that the macro-economic reforms will not substantially raise the country's medium-term growth prospects. "The S&P's decision reflects the worries over French growth, and the sentiment that government action is not enough," said Philippe Waechter, head of economic research at Natixis Asset Management. "I don't think the impact on French debt in the short-term will be dramatic however, because S&P is not alarmist and that the outlook is 'stable'." At 0731 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.6-0.8 percent. French OAT futures were 18 ticks lower at 134.41. German Bund futures were steady at 141.82, having rallied in the previous session after a surprise rate cut by the European Central Bank. European shares ended flat on Thursday in heavy, volatile trade as a boost from the ECB's surprise rate cut quickly fizzled out and investors booked profits following a sharp rally. U.S. October non-farm payrolls figures, set for release at 1330 GMT, will be scrutinised for more clues as to when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to reduce the $85 billion-a-month bond-buying programme which has underpinned equity markets. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0729 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,747.15 -1.32 % -23.34 NIKKEI 14,086.80 -1 % -141.64 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 543.00 -0.95 % -5.22 EUR/USD 1.3406 -0.09 % -0.0012 USD/JPY 98.13 0.05 % 0.0500 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.604 -- -0.01 10-YR BUND YLD 1.693 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,309.99 0.19 % $2.44 US CRUDE $94.50 0.32 % 0.30 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares hit 4-wk low, euro hit by ECB cut > US STOCKS-S&P 500 suffers worst day since late Aug; Twitter surges > Nikkei falls to 1-mth low as market stays risk averse before U.S. jobs > FOREX-Dollar's rise tempered by caution ahead of U.S. jobs data > PRECIOUS-Gold set for 2nd weekly loss as data sparks stimulus fears > METALS-Copper eyes biggest weekly fall in two months > Brent dips, holds above $103 as China exports beat forecast COMPANY NEWS: RICHEMONT Luxury goods group Richemont said sales growth picked up in October, helped by strong demand for its jewellery and retailers restocking in the Asia-Pacific region. ALLIANZ Allianz said it expected operating profit of slightly more than 9.7 billion euros ($13 billion) in 2013, edging over the top of its own target range and in line with analysts' expectations. INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES GROUP The group said third quarter profit more than doubled as its Spanish carrier Iberia started to show signs of recovery, adding to another strong performance from British Airways. SANTANDER The bank will on Friday receive offers for its real estate arm, Altamira, which could top 500 million euros ($669 million), Expansion reported on Friday, citing sources close to the operation. NUMERICABLE The cable operator said its shares would be priced at 24.80 euros in its market debut, allowing the group to raise at least 652.2 million euros ($872.8 million) to fund investments in its broadband network and pay down debt. AIRBUS Airbus extended its lead over Boeing in a hard-fought order contest in October, but remained behind on deliveries, leaving its U.S. rival in the industry's no.1 spot. DEUTSCHE BANK Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner said the supervisory board at Germany's flagship lender decided to extend co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen's contract until 2017 despite knowing about a criminal probe against him. VALLOUREC The steel tube maker posted higher third-quarter sales, driven by its oil and gas markets, but warned that adverse foreign exchange rates and a slowdown in Brazil would weigh on the next two quarters. JCDECAUX The outdoor advertising specialist said it expects its sales growth to pick up to reach the low single digits in the fourth quarter after a stagnant third quarter. CARREFOUR, KLEPIERRE Both groups confirmed discussing the sale to Carrefour of a portfolio of Klepierre shopping malls but said no deal had yet been reached and gave no further details.