European Factors to Watch-Shares head for steady start

Tue May 20, 2014 2:45am EDT

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a slightly weaker
start on Tuesday, with Vodafone seen falling between 1 to 3 percent
after saying its core earnings would fall in 2015 due to the investment needed
in the business.
    At 0640 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100
, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were flat to 0.1 percent
lower.
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which last week hit a
six-year high of 1,372.81, closed down 0.2 percent at 1,358.91 on Monday, while
the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.1 percent to
3,169.90 points.
    Investors kept a close eye on company earnings for the market's near-term
direction, with Marks And Spencer posting a 3.9 percent fall in annual
profit.  
    According to Thomson Reuters Datastream, 82 percent companies on the STOXX
Europe 600 index have reported first quarter results so far, of which
52 percent have missed analysts expectations. On the revenue front, 55 percent
companies have missed forecasts.
    On the geopolitical front, Thailand's army declared martial law nationwide
on Tuesday to restore order after six months of street protests that have left
the country without a proper functioning government, but denied that the
surprise move amounted to a military coup. 
    Investors' focus will be on the UK inflation numbers and chain store figures
from the United States.
    
    Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
    Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v)
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0641 GMT: 
    
                                                  LAST    PCT CHG    NET CHG
 S&P 500                                      1,885.08     0.38 %       7.22
 NIKKEI                                       14075.25     0.49 %      68.81
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                                483.54    -0.36 %      -1.77
 EUR/USD                                        1.3702    -0.04 %    -0.0005
 USD/JPY                                        101.44    -0.05 %    -0.0500
 10-YR US TSY YLD                                2.541         --       0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                                  1.351         --       0.01
 SPOT GOLD                                   $1,290.31     -0.1 %     -$1.29
 US CRUDE                                      $102.65     0.04 %       0.04
 
  > Asian shares inch down, dollar steadies              
  > Wall St rises; Internet, biotech names lift Nasdaq          
  > Nikkei rises on gains in Wall Street; Yahoo Japan soars     
  > Bond yields rise on profit-taking, reduced European bids  
  > BOJ's stance, falling global debt yields support yen      
  > Platinum extends gains on South African strikes; gold firm 
  > Copper near 2-mth peak; nickel sinks in volatile trade   
  > Brent steady above $109 on Libya unrest                    
    
    COMPANY NEWS
 
    CREDIT SUISSE 
    Credit Suisse has became the largest bank in 20 years to plead guilty to a
U.S. criminal charge, and will pay a $2.5 billion fine to authorities for
helping Americans evade taxes, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday.
 
    
    VODAFONE GROUP 
    The British company said its core earnings would fall in 2015 due to the
investment needed in the business as it reported 2014 results in line with
forecasts, helped by an improvement in underlying trading in the fourth quarter.
 
    
    MARKS AND SPENCER 
    The British retailer posted a 3.9 percent fall in annual profit, a third
straight decline, with three years of heavy investment yet to revive its
underperforming non-food business. 
    
    E.ON, RWE 
    E.ON has received most of the 1.7 billion euros ($23.32 billion) in nuclear
fuel tax it has paid in the past, following a court ruling that ordered the
government to reimburse utilities, German newspaper Rheinische Post reported,
citing a company spokeswoman. RWE has received nearly 400 million euros, the
paper added, citing a spokeswoman. Related news, 
    
    COBHAM 
    Cobham will buy Aeroflex Holding Corp for about $1.46 billion.
Aeroflex shareholders will receive $10.50 per share in cash.  

    DEUTSCHE BANK    
    Order books on Deutsche Bank's Additional Tier 1 deal will close during
European market hours on Tuesday, and the trade will price on the same day,
according to multiple sources. 
    
    AIRBUS 
    Airbus will keep evolving the design of its A380 superjumbo in response to
Boeing's latest jet, the 777X, whose recent launch was bolstered by
"unacceptable" Washington state subsidies, the head of the European planemaker
said on Monday. Related news 
    
    PUBLICIS 
    French advertising agency Publicis Groupe and Facebook have struck a
multi-year digital marketing deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars,
according to a person familiar with the matter. 
    
    TOTAL 
    The French oil company has cut its presence in the Libyan capital Tripoli to
a minimum over security concerns, although it is not evacuating staff from Libya
and offshore operations are continuing, a spokeswoman said on Monday.
 
    
    BP 
    A U.S. appeals court will not revisit a decision to reject BP's bid to block
businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if
those businesses could not trace their economic losses to the disaster.
 
    
    UNILEVER 
    Consumer goods group Unilever said on Monday it had paid 715 million pounds
($1.2 billion) for the rights left in family trusts by co-founder William
Hesketh Lever in a move to simplify the Anglo-Dutch group's share structure.
 
    
    RSA INSURANCE GROUP 
    The insurer said on Monday it had reached agreement to sell its
majority-owned Canadian brokerage business - Noraxis Capital Corp - to U.S.
insurance brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher & Co for C$500 million ($460.60
million). 
    
    LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP 
    The LSE has emerged as the preferred bidder for asset management group
Russell Investments, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with
the discussions. 
        

 (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Alistair Smout)
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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