European Factors to Watch-Ukraine crisis sets up shares for lower start

LONDON Wed May 7, 2014 1:34am EDT

LONDON May 7 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen falling early on Wednesday, hit by the mounting threat of a civil war in Ukraine and heavy losses on Wall Street.

Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open 19-20 points lower, or as much as 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX to open 22-27 points lower, or as much as 0.3 percent, and France's CAC 40 to open 10-13 points lower, or as much as 0.3 percent.

Ukraine slid further towards war as violence between supporters of Russia and of a united Ukraine flared at dusk in the eastern port of Mariupol, with both sides accusing each other of tearing the country apart.

In a sign of the direct impact of the Ukraine crisis on European companies, France's No. 2 listed bank Societe Generale said on Wednesday it had booked a 525 million euro ($731 million) writedown on the value of its Russian unit Rosbank after months of political crisis in Ukraine.

Further denting sentiment on global equities, U.S. stocks suffered a broad selloff, with AIG pulling the financial sector lower after disappointing earnings and Twitter led a selloff in the technology and internet space with a 17.8 percent drop.

Kicking off a busy day for European corporate earnings on a negative note, German engineering giant Siemens posted a weaker-than-expected 16 percent increase in operating profit on Wednesday, hit by charges in its power transmission business.

Mergers and acquisitions were also in focus as Britain's Rolls-Royce Plc agreed to sell its energy gas turbine and compressor business to German conglomerate Siemens AG for 785 million pounds($1.33 billion).

Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)

Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asian shares fall, yen rises as Ukraine conflict mounts > US STOCKS-Wall St falls in broad selloff; Twitter tumbles > Nikkei drops to 3-week low, hit by strong yen and Ukraine concerns > TREASURIES-Long bond price rises as traders await Yellen > FOREX-Kiwi recoils on NZ central bank warning, dollar nurses losses > Gold climbs towards 3-week high on softer dollar, Ukraine tensions > Nickel prices near 15-mth high on supply concerns > Brent holds above $107 on fall in U.S. crude stocks, Ukraine risks

(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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