European Factors to Watch-Shares to rebound as Putin recalls troops after exercise
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen rebounding on Tuesday with investors taking heart from Russia's decision to call back troops engaged in exercises in an area which borders crisis-struck Ukraine.
At 0749 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were between 0.8 percent and 1.2 percent higher.
The euro hit a session high against the dollar and Asian shares outside Japan edged into positive territory after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops that took part in military exercises in central and western Russia to return to base.
Moscow had denied that the exercises, which began last week, had anything to do with events in Ukraine, where Putin has said he has the right to deploy troops to protect Russian compatriots.
"There's a perception that maybe we're going see a ratcheting down of tensions and there's a possibility that President Putin may be open to dialogue and that's why markets are bouncing," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said.
"I would be sitting on the sidelines still because it's a very fluid situation. We're going to continue to see a certain amount of volatility and it would be a brave investor who dives back in now."
Traders said sentiment was also supported by speculation the European Central Bank may loosen lending conditions at a meeting on Thursday, after the bank's President Mario Draghi said late on Monday that inflation in the euro zone was "way below" the ECB's goal.
Europe bourses in 2014:
Asset performance in 2014:------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asian shares under pressure as Ukraine tensions persist > Wall St sells off as Ukraine-Russia tension rises > Nikkei rebounds on bargain hunting; Ukraine concerns still weigh > TREASURIES-Ukraine conflict sends yields to 4-week low > FOREX -Yen slips, takes breather after rising on Ukraine jitters > PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 4-month high on Ukraine crisis > London copper near 3-month low; more losses eyed on Russia > Brent holds above $111 as tensions over Ukraine crisis rise
The maker of Nivea skin care products said it would be keeping its dividend stable as it reported a near 10 percent rise in 2013 profit.
The diversified trader and miner posted forecast-beating core profit in the first set of full annual results since the commodities group was formed, helped by a strong performance of its trading arm offsetting a decline in its mining division.
The Mexican precious metals miner reported a 64 percent drop in pre-tax profit, falling short of analyst expectations, hit by tumbling gold and silver prices last year and a ban on the use of explosives at one of its mines.
Volkswagen of America saw sales drop by 13.8 percent to 27,112 cars in February as it drew fewer buyers to models, which have not been updated recently.
BMW Group in the United States reported sales of 24,476 vehicles in February, down 4.4 percent on February last year.
Mercedes-Benz USA reported U.S. sales of 24,971 units, a 3.8 percent increase over last year.
A divided U.S. appeals court rejected the British oil group's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if they could not trace their economic losses to the disaster.
NOKIAN RENKAAT, YIT, STOCKMANN
Shares in tyre maker Nokian Renkaat, department store chain Stockmann and builder YIT may move again, following their heavy falls on Monday as Ukraine crisis shadowed the Finnish firms' Russian operations.
European stocks were seen opening higher on Tuesday with investors taking heart from Russia's decision to call back troops engaged in exercises in an area which borders Ukraine.
Nokian Renkaat, the Russian market leader in winter tyres, runs its main factory near St.Petersburg and exports half of the plant's production out of Russia.
Soren Skou, head of the Maersk Group's container business unit, Maersk Line, is according to Lloyd's List pessimistic about prospect for 2016 supply-demand improvement.
"Mr Skou said he "did not subscribe to the view" that the supply-demand balance would improve in 2016 as some analysts predicted," the paper wrote.
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Germany's No.2 utility posted a net loss of 2.76 billion euros ($3.80 billion), due to 4.8 billion euros in writedowns mainly on its ailing power plants, which have come under pressure from a massive rise in renewable energy capacity in its home market.
Budget airline Vueling, part of the International Airlines Group, is expanding its business in Italy to compete with Alitalia and Ryanair and with the aim of increasing its seat capacity by 30 percent this year, Expansion reported on Tuedsay, citing unnamed sources close to the company.
Q4 results due. The maker of Nivea skin care products is expected to report its quarterly comparable earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 8.8 percent to 174 million euros ($240 million). Poll:
Sky Deutschland plans to give a new outlook covering the period from July 2014 to June 2015, after making a change to its reporting year, a spokesman for the company said.
Financier George Soros was one of the investors in bailed-out lender Bankia, after the Spanish government began selling down its stake, a source familiar with the process said.
Other major investors also included asset managers such as UK-based Schroders and Henderson Global Investors, and Mainfirst Asset Management and Capital World Investors from the United States.