European Factors to Watch-Shares to edge higher, focus on Ifo
LONDON, March 25
LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen edging higher at the open on Tuesday, mirroring a late recovery on Wall Street and supported by speculation of fresh economic stimulus from China, although gains were likely to be kept in check by expectations of more weak data from Germany.
The odds of Beijing intervening to support the sluggish Chinese economy were seen narrowing following a slew of data that points to the weakest growth for China since the global financial crisis.
At 0733 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were up by between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent.
Investors will also monitor the situation in Russia, which was warned by U.S. President Barack Obama and major industrialised allies that it faced damaging economic sanctions if President Vladimir Putin takes further action to destabilise Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 cut their losses in late trade on Monday, showing lingering investor appetite for shares and setting up European indexes for a small rebound after a slide on the previous day.
Frankfurt's DAX index fell 1.7 percent on Monday after German composite figures showed growth slowed from February's 33-month high, fuelling speculation that Germany's closely watched Ifo business morale index, due to be published at 0900 GMT on Tuesday, would also disappoint.
Consensus expects the index to come in at 111 points.
"The Ifo estimates are quite high, despite the concerns about Russia, which is a huge market for companies like (German car maker) BMW," said Markus Huber, senior sales trader at Peregrine & Black, who has a short position on the DAX.
"Long term we're still positive but short term it looks like the market wants to go down a little bit."
Analysts at Societe Generale said they expected the Ifo to mirror the PMIs and fall to 110.9 and Credit Agricole flagged downside risk to its forecast of 111.4 points.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pad95v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/rav46v
> Global shares on defensive, China stimulus hopes offer comfort > US STOCKS-Tech leads Wall St lower as Ukraine casts a shadow > Nikkei drops on soft U.S. manufacturing, Ukraine woes > TREASURIES-Curve flattens on Fed hike speculation, before supply > Dollar off recent highs, hampered by doubts about U.S. growth > PRECIOUS-Gold off 1-month low, but US rate hike fears cap gains > London copper flat; hopes for China stimulus support > Brent slips toward $106.50 on soft US, China manufacturing
Europe's banks are set this year to sell a record 80 billion euros of loans no longer part of their main businesses, as they step up sales from 2.4 trillion euros ($3.3 trillion) of loans deemed "non-core".
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND
The British lender has had contact regarding the possible sale of its U.S. retail business Citizens with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has also considered a bid, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
UBS's head of equities for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, is leaving the Swiss bank after almost 18 years, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Monday.
France's biggest listed bank, said it would reduce Ukraine staff by 1,600 by 2015 as part of a restructuring of its local unit in the face of a tough economic environment.
Julius Baer said on Tuesday it had acquired a majority stake in Brazilian wealth manager GPS as it looks to increase its presence in Latin America's largest wealth management market.
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China has turned away more U.S. corn after detecting MIR 162, a GMO strain developed by Syngenta AG that Beijing has not approved for import, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday.
Engineering group said it had doubled the money it plans to invest in building an offshore wind turbine factory and an installation facility in Britain to 160 million pounds ($264 million).
Lufthansa said on Monday that it is disappointed by development delays with Bombardier Inc's all-new CSeries jetliner, but the airline said it remains confident it picked the right aircraft.
Airbus believes it can eventually drive its Latin American market share up to 65 percent, although it is not in talks to sell its A380 superjumbo in the region, the company's Latin American president told Reuters on Monday.
Air France-KLM has chosen GEnx engines made by General Electric to power 25 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft it has ordered from Boeing.
The British insurer could pay its chief executive Mark Wilson up to 5.3 million pounds ($8.7 million) for his first year in the job he took on after a shareholder rebellion led to the departure of his predecessor.
MARKS & SPENCER
The British retailer said that two of its most experienced directors would leave the business this summer. Both Darrell Stein and Clem Constantine, directors of IT and property respectively, have been with M&S since 2006, according to the company's website. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa)
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