European Factors to Watch-Shares to edge lower, Fed in focus
LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a slightly weaker open on Tuesday, with technical charts pointing to consolidation on main indexes and with investors, faced with an uncertain policy and economic outlook, locking in profits into the year-end. At 0731 GMT, futures for Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX France's CAC and the Euro STOXX 50 were 0.1 to 0.2 percent lower. The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 cash index rose 0.3 percent to 2,988.67 points in the previous session, but remained stuck within its 50-day and 100-day moving averages. A move above its 100-day moving average, now at 3,018.49, could open the door for more gains in the near term. "The index recently tested and confirmed the long-term resistance zone 3,050-3,100. From a short-term perspective, the index concluded its June uptrend with a profit-taking signal and entered a consolidation, which should continue in the coming days," Sophia Wurm, technical analyst at Commerzbank, said. She saw the next support level for the index at 2,940, its recent three-week lows. From a fundamental view point, uncertainty over how soon the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to scale back its equity-friendly bond purchases was expected to keep investors in a cautious mood. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who is a voting member on the Fed's policymaking committee this year, said after the European market close on Monday that the U.S. central bank could slightly reduce its monthly bond purchases this month in reaction to signs of an improved labor market. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher also said the U.S. central bank should start to trim its massive bond-buying programme next week. A Reuters poll on Friday predicted the Fed will start reducing its bond-buying programme no later than March, with some analysts expecting the U.S. central bank to take action as early as December following a second straight month of robust jobs gains. The Fed next meets on Dec. 17-18. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.2 percent firmer at 1,272.43 points on Monday, when U.S. shares edged higher and the S&P 500 hit a record peak. On Tuesday, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.1 percent, while Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3 percent. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- > Stocks edge higher, euro scales heights > US STOCKS-S&P 500 floats up to record close in quiet day on Wall St > Nikkei eases from 1-week high, still on target for best year since 1972 > Bonds concede most gains before supply > Euro advances as dollar, yen stay out of favour > Gold steady after 2-day gains, but taper worries linger > London copper near one-month peak as dollar drops > Brent holds above $109 ahead of China data COMPANY NEWS EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders is due to hold a conference call to discuss the aerospace group's plans to cut 5,800 job cuts - including 2,600 in Germany, 1,700 in France, 700 in the UK and 600 in Spain - as part of a three-year restructuring of its space and defence activities. VOLVO World number two truck maker Volvo said on Tuesday it had agreed to sell its machine rental business in North America, Volvo Rents, to U.S. private equity firm Platinum Equity for about 7.2 billion Swedish crowns ($1.1 billion). TUI TRAVEL The world's biggest tour operator said full-year profit rose 13 percent, beating the company's upgraded forecast, helped by the sale of more higher margin holidays in its UK and German markets. LLOYDS The bank said it would bolster its capital by selling its remaining 21 percent stake in wealth manager St James's Place, worth about 700 million pounds ($1.15 billion). PRUDENTIAL British based life group has set new growth objectives driven by its Asian business, targeting at least 10 billion pounds ($16 billion) of cumulative underlying free surplus generation by the end of 2017. It has requested a trading halt on shares until 1pm. NOVO NORDISK Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk NOVOb.CO has been reported to the police by the country's Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) for violating disclosure obligations. SYNGENTA A top U.S. Federal Reserve official on Monday suggested that farmers consider a path toward internationally accepted standards for genetically modified crops, following rejections of U.S. corn shipments by China which tested positive for Syngenta products. For more, click on FRESNILLO Mexican precious metals miner Fresnillo lowered its gold production guidance by 8.4 percent on Tuesday, after a ban on the use of explosives at a mining site continued, impacting its output. GDF SUEZ, CREDIT AGRICOLE French gas and power group GDF Suez said it had sold a 50 percent stake in a 440 megawatt French onshore wind farm to Credit Agricole Assurances. The deal will enable GDF to reduce net debt by some 400 million euros. CREDIT SUISSE The bank has appointed equity analyst Howard Chen to its investment banking department as managing director and global head of financial technology and financial strategies, according to an internal memo to employees. VALIANT HOLDING Valiant Holding has become the first Swiss bank to say it would work with U.S. officials in a crackdown on wealthy Americans evading taxes through hidden offshore accounts.
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