Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to rise after strong German data
PARIS, March 11 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise in early trade on Tuesday, reversing the previous session's losses, with German stocks in focus after data showed the country's exports and imports surged in January. Figures from the Federal Statistics Office showed seasonally-adjusted exports were up by 2.2 percent, well above a consensus forecast for a rise of 1.4 percent, while imports increased by 4.1 percent, more than double the highest forecast in a Reuters poll of 2.0 percent, with the consensus forecast at 1.3 percent. At 0725 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, for the UK's FTSE 100 , for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.4-0.6 percent. However, the day's gains could be capped by tensions in Ukraine as well as worries over the pace of growth in China. Confrontation around the Black Sea peninsula showed no sign of easing, with a pro-Russian force opening fire when seizing a Ukrainian military base in Crimea on Monday and NATO announcing reconnaissance flights along its eastern frontiers. Concerns about the economic health of top metals consumer China, fuelled by recent data showing a sharp drop in the country's exports, also continued to weigh on investor sentiment. Banking stocks will be in the spotlight as euro zone governments edged closer on Monday towards a deal on how to wind down failing banks. Negotiations are set to last until Wednesday and may be the final step in a European banking union that would mean one supervisor for euro zone banks, one set of rules to close or restructure those in trouble and one pot of money to pay for it. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index has slipped 2.1 percent since a high hit last Thursday, but its pullback has been halted by a strong support level at 3,090.79 representing the index's 50-day moving average. "The market is losing momentum, with an accumulation of negative catalysts.Asset performance in 2014:------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0728 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,877.17 -0.05 % -0.87 NIKKEI 15,224.11 0.69 % 103.97 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 463.04 0.34 1.57 EUR/USD 1.386 -0.12 % -0.0016 USD/JPY 103.24 -0.01 % -0.0100 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.786 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.632 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,342.70 0.31 % $4.16 US CRUDE $101.27 0.15 % 0.15 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares steady, China worries remain > US STOCKS-S&P dips after record; China data, Boeing weigh > Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 0.69 pct > FOREX-Yen treads water as investors await BOJ policy decision > PRECIOUS-Gold firm on fund inflows; China, Ukraine worries support > METALS-Copper comes off 8-month low, China worries cap gains > Brent steady near $108, Ukraine crisis offsets weak data COMPANY NEWS: ZURICH Zurich Insurance Group will cut about 800 jobs globally to save around $250 million per year by the end of 2015 as it streamlines its organisation in line with strategic priorities set out last year. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM T-Mobile US expects to engage in some form of cellular industry consolidation, the CFO of the United States' fourth-largest carrier said on Monday, boosting investor expectations that a merger with Sprint Corp could be on the horizon. SANTANDER The U.S. arm of Spain's largest bank Santander has completed a capital hike of $2.5 billion to fund expansion in the United States, Expansion reported citing a filing with the U.S. SEC. BAYER Bayer said late on Monday it agreed to sell back to Kythera commercial rights to ATX-101 outside of the United States and Canada. It will receive $33 million in Kythera stock and a $51 million promissory note, as well as some long-term sales milestone payments. SYNGENTA Syngenta AG said on Monday it had halted commercial sales in Canada of corn seed containing a new and controversial genetically modified trait because major importers had not approved the product. GEBERIT Swiss sanitary equipment maker Geberit named Christian Buhl as its new chief executive on Tuesday as it published fourth-quarter net profit that met expectations. SANOFI, UCB The French and Belgian drugmakers have entered a partnership aimed at finding treatments for so-called immune-mediated diseases. UNICREDIT UniCredit is set to unveil plans to raise 2 billion euros on the bond market to boost its capital and offset an expected sharp increase in writedowns on bad loans in the last quarter of 2013. CEO Federico Ghizzoni holds news conference on Tuesday to present 2013-2018 strategic plan guidelines and FY results. LINDT & SPRUENLGI Chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli said it expects sales to grow 6-8 percent this year after net profit jumped almost 24 percent last year, helped by market share gains and a strong increase in sales. IMERYS The minerals group confirmed it had withdrawn its offer to buy Amcol International Corp after it bowed out of a month-long bidding war with Minerals Technologies Inc, adding that Amcol was paying it a $39 million termination fee under the terms of their previous merger agreement. THYSSENKRUPP ThyssenKrupp has resumed efforts to sell its rail business, which it put up for sale in May 2013, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung said on Tuesday, citing no sources. The company already said in May 2013 it planned to divest the business. BMW Germany's BMW said it saw strong demand for the i8 hybrid sportscar which will go into series production in April and start customer deliveries in June. HANNOVER RE : The reinsurer reported a 48 percent leap in fourth-quarter profit to 265 million euros ($368 million), boosted largely by a tax benefit, and proposed a dividend of 3 euros per share.
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