European Factors to Watch-Lower start eyed on Iraq violence, BoE tightening prospects

LONDON, June 13 Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:32am EDT

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen edging lower on Friday as violence in Iraq raised the threat of new instability in the oil-rich Middle East and pushed up energy prices.

British property companies and banks were likely to be in focus on Friday after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said that British interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets expect and that he was concerned by signs that mortgage lending standards were becoming looser.

At 0629 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100 , Germany's DAX and France's CAC were down between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent.

The Dax was set for its first sizeable weekly loss since mid-April while the Cac and the FTSE were on track for their first weekly decline since May.

President Barack Obama threatened U.S. military strikes in Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who have surged out of the north to menace Baghdad and want to establish their own state in Iraq and Syria.

Brent futures rose towards $114 a barrel on Friday and hit a nine-month high while U.S. stocks fell overnight.

"I'd rather be short (the market) at the moment," Justin Haque, a pan-European broker at Hobart Capital Markets, said.

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

Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) > ASIA STOCKS DOWN, OIL BUOYANT AS IRAQ WAR ESCALATES > WALL ST SLIDES ON CONCERNS ABOUT IRAQ > NIKKEI FALLS TO FRESH 2 1/2-WEEK LOW ON IRAQ CONCERNS > TREASURIES-PRICES LEAP ON STRONG U.S. 30-YEAR BOND SALE > DOLLAR EDGES UP VS YEN AFTER TOUCHING TWO-WEEK LOWS > PALLADIUM, PLATINUM REBOUND AFTER HEAVY SELL-OFF > LONDON COPPER FACES 3RD WEEK OF LOSSES AS CHINA DEMAND EBBS > BRENT CLIMBS TOWARD $114, HITS 9-MONTH TOP ON IRAQ CRISIS

COMPANY NEWS

SIEMENS, ALSTOM

Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are trying to beat a bid by U.S. conglomerate General Electric for Alstom with an offer that would focus on alliances with the French engineering group, sources said on Thursday.

ABENGOA, ABENGOA YIELD

Abengoa Yield Plc, the U.S. unit of Spanish renewable and engineering firm Abengoa SA, said its initial public offering had been priced at $29 per share, valuing the company at about $2.32 billion.

DASSAULT SYSTEMES

Dassault Systemes, which develops 3D software for companies, said on Friday it had set a 2019 non-IFRS Earnings Per Share (EPS) objective of about 7.00 euros per share.

CREDIT AGRICOLE

LCL, the retail banking unit of Credit Agricole, is considering cutting 1,000 jobs by 2018 as it reorganises its national network, French daily Les Echos reports on Friday, citing trade unions. Credit Agricole could not be immediately reached for comment. LCL's network employs 13,600 people.

UK PROPERTY COMPANIES, BANKS

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday that British interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets expect, in a surprisingly stark warning that monetary policy may start to tighten within months.

Carney also said he was also concerned by signs that mortgage lending standards were becoming looser and set out the case for early action as insurance against future risks by the BoE's Financial Policy Committee, which meets next week.

BNP

The chief operating officer of BNP Paribas is to step down at the end of June and retire completely on Sept. 30, France's biggest bank announced on Thursday as talks with U.S. authorities over a potential $10 billion fine gathered pace.

ABN AMRO

Dutch state-owned ABN Amro has closed its carbon trading desk, a company spokesman said, making the bank the latest in a rising number to exit the market due to increased regulation and falling prices.

AIRBUS

Airbus fleshed out the case for a potential revamp of its A330 jetliner, but vowed not to let the estimated $2 billion investment in fuel savings divert it from its main goal of improving profits at Europe's largest aerospace group.

GDF

French gas and power group GDF Suez said on Thursday its Belgian Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear plants will remain closed for testing longer than expected and that it would adjust earnings guidance for net recurring income to reflect the number of months of effective outage.

RENAULT

Renault and Opel led French car orders 2 percent higher in May, according to a survey published on Thursday, helped by strong demand for small cars and compact sport utility vehicles (SUV).

(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Tricia Wright)