UPDATE 1-Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen steady; DAX eyes record high

Wed May 14, 2014 2:44am EDT

(Adds futures prices, company news items, live quote)
    LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - European equity index futures edged higher on
Wednesday, building on this week's move up that has pushed a number of national
and regional indexes to multi-year highs and Germany's DAX to just a
few points away from a record high, although some traders cautioned the rally
may run out of steam soon.
    The June futures contract for the Euro STOXX 50 index was up by 0.2
percent at 0625 GMT. The futures contract for Germany's DAX also rose
0.2 percent while the futures contract for France's CAC rose 0.1
percent.
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 0.3 percent at
1,368.75 points on Tuesday after hitting its highest level since May 2008, while
France's CAC-40 also touched a near 6-year high. 
    Some traders said the rally witnessed over the last two months, which has
seen the FTSEurofirst 300 rise some 7 percent from lows in March, may run out of
steam as investors look for an opportunity to cash in on that rise.
    "For me, it's overdone here, and there's a pullback coming," said Darren
Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.
    One factor that could cause some investors to trim back European equity
holdings could be mixed first-quarter corporate earnings. According to Thomson
Reuters StarMine, 51 percent of companies on the pan-European STOXX 600 index
 have missed market expectations with their first-quarter earnings.
    
    Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
    Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v)
   
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0638 GMT:
    
                                           LAST      PCT CHG   NET CHG
 S&P 500                               1,897.45       0.04 %       0.8
 NIKKEI                                14405.76      -0.14 %    -19.68
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                         485.26       0.88 %      4.21
 EUR/USD                                 1.3718       0.12 %    0.0016
 USD/JPY                                 102.13      -0.12 %   -0.1200
 10-YR US TSY YLD                         2.611           --     -0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                           1.421           --     -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                            $1,295.20       0.19 %     $2.46
 US CRUDE                               $102.03       0.32 %      0.33
     
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise, euro wobbles under pressure 
  > US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs again; Nasdaq slips 
  > Nikkei slips on profit-taking, JGC tumbles on poor forecasts 
  > TREASURIES-Yields fall after U.S. retail sales data disappoints 
  > FOREX-Euro languishes near 5-week low vs dollar, sterling eyes BoE 
  > PRECIOUS-Gold edges up on Ukraine; platinum, palladium hold gains 
  > METALS-Nickel comes off 27-month highs; copper drifts 
  > Brent holds above $109 on outlook for U.S. oil stocks, Ukraine crisis 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    ALLIANZ :
    German insurer Allianz saw 21.7 billion euros ($29.7 billion) in net
investment outflows from its bond fund manager Pimco in the first quarter,
hurting performance fees and contributing to a 28 percent decline in asset
management operating profit. 
    
    BHP BILLITON  :
    BHP Billiton is in talks to sell its nickel business based in Western
Australia, the top global miner said on Wednesday, in line with its aim of
simplifying the company. 
    
    RWE :
    RWE, Germany's second-biggest utility, cut its outlook for the ongoing year,
taking into account the sale of oil and gas unit DEA, which it sold
to Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman in March in a 5.1 billion euro ($7 billion)
deal. 
    
    JULIUS BAER :
    Julius Baer said on Wednesday that four-month assets rose 4 percent from
year-end to 264 billion Swiss francs ($296.70 billion), as it won fresh funds
from clients and added a recent Brazilian acquisition to its assets.
 
    
    FIAT :
    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FChief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said
the company will be much stronger than it is today at the end of his plan to
sell 7 million cars by 2018, even if it misses the targets he set forth last
week. 
    
    K+S :
    Earnings at German potash miner K+S beat market expectations as the price of
the fertiliser mineral started to recover from a slump that followed the
break-up of an export alliance between two larger rivals last year.
 
    
    RHI :
    Austrian fireproof materials maker RHI posted a 6 percent drop in
first-quarter revenues, saying weaker new construction activity hurt its glass
and cement businesses. 

 (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Blaise Robinson)