European Factors to Watch-Shares to mark time; Arcelor, Telefonica in focus

LONDON Fri May 9, 2014 2:41am EDT

LONDON May 9 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen edging lower on Friday as disappointing updates from blue chips such as telecoms operator Telefonica sobered the mood after a market rally on the previous day.

At 0634 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were down between 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent.

Spanish-listed Telefonica missed market expectations as it reported a 23 percent fall in net profit.

"It looks like Telefonica came in a bit weaker and we had some people going short of the Ibex (Spain's blue-chip index) as a results," Rupert Osborne, futures dealer at IG, said.

Adding to the gloom, Nordic builder Skanska saw its operating profit for the period rise less than forecast.

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, reported a 23 percent increase in its core earnings and said it remained cautiously optimistic about its business outlook for the remainder of the year.

The company, however, trimmed its forecast for global steel consumption on Friday as a more pronounced slowdown in China and a decline in Russia outweighed growing optimism about Europe.

A slowing economy in China has been a drag on European shares over the past few months. Data on Friday showed moderating consumer prices and persistent industrial deflation in the world's second-largest economy, bolstering market expectations that authorities will ease monetary policy or take other steps to arrest a loss of momentum in the second-largest economy.

Weakness in emerging markets has been a constant theme in what has been a lacklustre quarterly reporting season so far.

Just over two-thirds of STOXX Europe 600 companies due to report results had done so through May 8, with half of them missing consensus forecasts, the highest proportion since the second quarter of 2011, StarMine data showed.

European indexes rallied on Thursday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 hitting highs not seen in almost six years, after the European Central Bank hinted at possible action to stimulate the economy at its next meeting.

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

Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Asia shares pare losses as China inflation in line > Wall St ends mostly lower; Nasdaq down for 3rd session > Nikkei rises in choppy trade; Toshiba gains on growth prospects > TREASURIES-Long bond drops after 30-year bond auction > FOREX-Euro steadies after slumping on dovish Draghi comments > Gold steady on Ukraine tensions, poised for 2nd weekly drop > LME nickel at 26-month peak as supply worries bite > Brent steady above $108 as Russia, Libya support

COMPANY NEWS

PUBLICIS /WPP :

The proposed $35 billion merger between U.S.-based Omnicom Group Inc and French rival Publicis Groupe SA has been called off as the challenges in forming the world's largest advertising agency proved too immense for the partners. Now, with the merger off, the companies have surrendered their potentially dominant position to current leader WPP.

E.ON

Indicated 0.7 pct higher

The company is in talks with the remaining owners of Eneva over whether the Brazilian energy firm, in which E.ON owns 38 percent, should raise 1.5 billion reais ($677.31 million) in capital, Handelsblatt reported, citing company sources.

Related news ($1 = 2.2146 Brazilian Reals)

SALZGITTER

Indicated 1.3 pct higher

The steelmaker posted a first-quarter pretax loss of 8.7 million euros ($12.1 million), compared with a 16.1 million euro pretax loss from a year earlier, thanks to its holding in copper producer Aurubis.

Related news:

INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES GROUP

The British Airways-owner said on Friday its seasonal first-quarter loss narrowed by 46 percent, beating a consensus forecast, as a turnaround at its Iberia unit started to take effect.

PRYSMIAN

The world's biggest cable maker said it could not rule out further losses due to technical problems at its Western Link high-voltage project in Britain, which hurt first-quarter results and its 2014 guidance.

CNH INDUSTRIAL

The tractor and trucks maker CNH Industrial expects operating profit of its industrial activities to rise by more than 1.6 times to $3.4 billion in 2018, boosted by new product launches and expansion in emerging markets.

* JP Morgan raises target price to $11.50 from $11; rating underweight

FIAT CHRYSLER

The headquarters of the newly merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) group will be moved to London, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne clarified on Thursday, cementing a politically sensitive shift away from Italy, Fiat's home for the past 115 years.

If Fiat Chrysler Automobiles wants to become a significant force in Asia, it needs to succeed in China. But its track record so far in the world's largest automobile market raises doubts about its ability to deliver on growth promises, analysts say.

MEDIOBANCA

The investment bank confirmed a core capital target at the end of the current fiscal year "well above" 10 percent, Chief Executive Alberto Nagel told analysts on Thursday.

TELECOM ITALIA

Its unit TIM ParticipaƧoes SA, Brazil's second-largest wireless phone company, on Thursday posted a 22 percent rise in first-quarter profit from a year earlier to 372 million reais($168 million), according to a securities filing.

An Italian court on Thursday rejected the company's appeal against a fine by the country's antitrust authority for abusing its dominant market position as owner and manager of the country's fixed-line telephone network. Telecom Italia said it would appeal against the ruling.

ALITALIA, INTESA SANPAOLO, UNICREDIT

The Italian government has given the banks which are creditors of Alitalia, and Intesa Sanpaolo in particular, until Monday to find a common position on the airline's debt so that a deal with Etihad can be reached, Il Messaggero said on Friday.

ALCATEL-LUCENT

The telecom network gear maker swung to a first-quarter net loss of 73 million euros as restructuring costs and lower-margin Chinese mobile contracts weighed on profitability. (Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Anand Basu and Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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