Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen steady, earnings in focus
PARIS, Nov 12 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen steady on Tuesday, with investors combing through a batch of company results from blue-chips including Vodafone, Infineon and Deutsche Post. At 0720 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were flat to up 0.1 percent. A sharp rally in Japanese stocks on Tuesday was seen lending support to European equities, as Tokyo's Nikkei surged 2.2 percent to a near three-week high, propelled by exporters benefiting from a softer yen. Telecom companies will be in the spotlight as Vodafone posted a record fall in quarterly organic service revenue and also after credit rating agency Moody's said Europe's telecom operators will see a fifth year of revenue decline in 2014, although operating margins will stabilise. Italian banks will also be in focus, after UniCredit, the country's biggest lender, said net profits fell 40 percent and revenues fell 8.5 percent in what CEO Federico Ghizzoni said in a statement was a "particularly challenging third quarter." "Not much inspiration from earnings, and on the macro front, there are no positive catalysts in sight, so we could see people booking profits before the end of the year," a Paris-based trader said. Europe's earnings season has been disappointing so far. About 80 percent of STOXX Europe 600 companies have reported results, and half of them have missed profit forecasts while nearly two thirds have missed revenue forecasts, according to data from Thomson Reuters StarMine. This is a sharp contrast with results posted in the second quarter, during which only 42 percent of companies missed profit forecasts. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index has surged 22 percent since late June, a rally fuelled in part by massive liquidity provided by central banks while euro zone macroeconomic data has improved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0728 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,771.89 0.07 % 1.28 NIKKEI 14,588.68 2.23 % 318.84 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 542.81 0.07 % 0.37 EUR/USD 1.3387 -0.14 % -0.0019 USD/JPY 99.67 0.52 % 0.5200 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.777 -- 0.03 10-YR BUND YLD 1.772 -- 0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,279.69 -0.24 % -$3.13 US CRUDE $94.90 -0.25 % -0.24 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares head for 4th day of falls > US STOCKS-Dow ends at record high in light trade; focus on Fed > Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 2.23 pct > FOREX-Dollar rises back towards 100-yen level on Fed taper view > PRECIOUS-Gold stays below $1,300 as markets worry about U.S. stimulus > METALS-London copper sags ahead of key China policy meeting > Brent edges down towards $106; Iran deal in focus COMPANY NEWS: VODAFONE Vodafone plans to spend 7 billion pounds on its networks following the sale of its U.S. business, ramping up investment after it posted a record fall in quarterly organic service revenue. INFINEON The German chip maker reported a year-on-year 26 percent rise in its core operating profit, driven by its industrial and security units. DEUTSCHE POST The world's No. 1 postal and logistics group posted a better-than-expected rise in quarterly operating profit as earnings at its domestic mail and international courier units helped to offset adverse currency moves. UNICREDIT Net profit at Italy's No.1 bank by assets fell 40 percent in the third quarter to 204 million euros, buoyed by the sale of insurance operations in Turkey. Revenues fell 8.5 percent and fees also dropped in what CEO Federico Ghizzoni said in a statement was a "particularly challenging third quarter, not only due to seasonality". INTESA SANPAOLO, GENERALI Italy's biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo said on Monday it was selling its 1.3 percent stake in top domestic insurer Generali to institutional investors via a book-building process. BANCA CARIGE Troubled Italian lender Carige said it had booked goodwill writedowns worth 1.65 billion euros after regulator Consob queried the value of some investments, including a stake in the Bank of Italy, in its 2012 and 2013 accounts. AIR FRANCE-KLM Air France-KLM will not participate in a capital increase at battered airline Alitalia on Friday, Le Figaro newspaper reported, echoing a similar report in La Tribune two weeks ago. Italian airline Alitalia has called a board meeting for Wednesday to discuss a revised industrial plan for the loss-making carrier that could include heavy job losses, sources familiar with the situation said on Monday. HENKEL The German maker of washing powder, shampoos and adhesives raised its profit margin outlook for the year after a robust adhesives division helped to offset currency headwinds in the third quarter. LANXESS The world's largest maker of synthetic rubber for tyres on Tuesday posted a 26 percent drop in adjusted core earnings, hurt by lower product prices and weak overseas currencies. ACCIONA Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy firm Acciona posted a 7 percent fall in nine-month core profit from a year ago, hit by government energy reforms and a prolonged downturn in the domestic construction sector. CAIXABANK, REPSOL Spain's Caixabank said on Monday it would issue 620 million euros ($831 million) worth of 3-year bonds exchangeable for shares in Spanish oil major Repsol. PANDORA Danish jewellery maker Pandora PNDORA.CO confirmed preliminary third-quarter results published in late October, when it raised its full-year results forecasts after sales growth in all its major regions. SWISS LIFE Swiss Life Chief Executive Officer Bruno Pfister will hand over his duties to current investment chief Patrick Frost on July 1 next year, the insurer said. TELECOM ITALIA The Italian phone company said on Monday it confirmed a mandate to management to finalise a sale of its stake in Telecom Argentina.