European Factors to Watch - Shares to fall on Ukraine tension
(Adds quote, company news) EDINBURGH, Aug 6 (Reuters) - European shares are set to open lower on Wednesday, after a deterioration in the situation in Ukraine prompted a sell-off in equities globally. Asian and U.S. shares extended falls after reports that Russian troops were massing at the eastern Ukrainian border, where pro-Moscow rebels are in conflict with the Ukrainian government - ratcheting up geopolitical tension in the region. Russian President Vladimir Putin also ordered his government to prepare retaliatory measures against the latest round of Western sanctions, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday. "Looking ahead to European trade, we are calling the major European bourses lower as they also play catch up to losses seen around the globe," Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG, said in a trading note. "President Putin reportedly ordered his government to investigate retaliatory sanctions against the EU and U.S. There is also renewed build-up of Russian troops at the Ukraine border resulting in fears of Russia invading Ukraine." At 0617 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.6-1 percent lower, while futures for Britain's FTSE 100 were 0.3 percent lower. Earnings reports were set to contribute to weakness, with Swiss Re , the world's second-largest reinsurer, saying its net profit rose less than expected in the second quarter, as the firm's chief executive warned he saw prices weakening further in the insurance industry. With two-thirds of STOXX Europe 600 companies having reported results, 44 percent have missed expectations, compared to just 26 percent of companies on the U.S. S&P 500 that have fallen short of estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. However, some companies managed positive surprises on Wednesday, with the banking arm of Dutch financial giant ING beating earnings forecasts in the second quarter of the year, returning underlying pretax profits of 1.278 billion euros against the 1.137 billion euros expected by analysts. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0620 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,920.21 -0.97 % -18.78 NIKKEI 15159.79 -1.05 % -160.52 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 502.66 -0.35 % -1.75 EUR/USD 1.3361 -0.1 % -0.0014 USD/JPY 102.57 -0.02 % -0.0200 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.484 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.154 -- -0.02 SPOT GOLD $1,291.39 0.28 % $3.65 US CRUDE $97.48 0.1 % 0.10 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares worn out by Wall St > US STOCKS-Stocks tumble on Ukraine tensions; Time Warner skids > Nikkei falls to 2-1/2-wk low, SoftBank tumbles on M&A disappointment > TREASURIES-Prices jump as Wall St slumps, investor fears multiply > FOREX-Dollar clings near 11-month high after upbeat data, kiwi falls > PRECIOUS-Gold rises on safe-haven bids; Ukraine tensions hurt stocks > METALS-London copper hits two-week low on shaky China outlook > Brent rebounds to $105; U.S. oil stocks eyed COMPANY NEWS: DEUTSCHE BANK The private-equity arms of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Deutsche Bank were close to sealing a deal to purchase the buyout unit of National Bank of Greece SA (NBG), Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources. Related news E.ON Bidders are readying indicative offers for the Spanish assets of Germany's top utility, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, adding bids would value the whole portfolio at about 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion). Related news DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Sprint Corp has dropped its bid to acquire T-Mobile U.S. Inc after regulatory resistance showed no signs of softening despite months of lobbying, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Meanwhile, three sources familiar with the matter said that French telecom firm Iliad is in talks with investors to improve its bid for T-Mobile US because it expects parent company Deutsche Telekom will reject its $15 billion offer. Related news SWISS RE Swiss Re, the world's second largest reinsurer, posted a lower-than-expected rise in second-quarter net profit to $802 million for the second quarter, and said it saw prices in the insurance industry weakening further. For more, click on ROCHE Roche said on Wednesday that European regulators approved its drug Avastin as a treatment for women with ovarian cancer that is resistant to platinum-containing chemotherapy. For more, click on ING The banking arm of Dutch financial giant ING beat earnings forecasts in the second quarter of the year, returning underlying pretax profits of 1.278 billion euros against the 1.137 billion euros expected by analysts. UCB The Belgian pharmaceutical company is exploring a sale of its Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals Inc division, a U.S. specialty generics business that could fetch as much as $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. ILIAD The French telecom firm is in talks with investors to improve its bid for T-Mobile US because it expects the parent company Deutsche Telekom to reject its $15 billion offer, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Sprint Corp has dropped its bid to acquire T-Mobile U.S. Inc after regulatory resistance showed no signs of softening despite months of lobbying, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. TELEFONICA Telefonica's plan to buy control of Brazilian telecommunications company GVT SA would pose no hurdle to competition in the industry, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo said on Tuesday. IAG British Airways has suspended flights to and from Liberia and Sierra Leone until the end of the month due to public health concerns, the airline owned by International Airlines Group said on Tuesday. PIRELLI Italy's Pirelli, the world's fifth-largest tyremaker, confirmed its full-year targets on Tuesday after reporting a larger-than-expected increase in first-half operating profit, boosted by strong growth in its premium tyre division. The presence of oil giant Rosneft in the share capital of tyremaker Pirelli does not violate U.S. sanctions against Russia, Pirelli chief Marco Tronchetti Provera said on Tuesday. UNICREDIT Italy's biggest bank UniCredit sees no need to review its business plan due to slower-than-expected growth figures for Italy, the lender's CEO said on Tuesday. Net profit at UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank by assets, rose 12 percent in the second quarter thanks to a marked improvement in its home market and a solid contribution from eastern Europe. GLENCORE Glencore Plc, one of the world's largest mining companies, has asked a U.S. judge to dismiss it as a defendant from nationwide antitrust litigation over the alleged manipulation of aluminum prices. STANDARD CHARTERED Standard Chartered PLC is back in the crosshairs of New York's banking regulator over alleged failure to flag high risk transactions for further review, according to a person familiar with the matter. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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