European Factors to Watch-Shares seen edging lower, focus on data

Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:54am EDT

LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to edge lower early
on Thursday after touching a one-month high in the previous session, with
investors focusing on further data releases for hints about the European Central
Bank's likely policy moves.
    ECB sources said late on Wednesday that the central bank was unlikely to
take new policy action next week unless August inflation figures on Friday show
the euro zone sinking significantly towards deflation. 
    "European markets have been looking towards today as the major driver of
market direction, with a whole raft of economic indicators set to bring the euro
zone back into focus once again," Alpari analyst Joshua Mahony said in a note.
    "The story for the euro zone is becoming particularly worrying, where almost
every indicator coming out of the region is painting a picture of yet more
weakness."
    Investors awaited preliminary German inflation data due later in the session
for hints about how soft the euro zone numbers might turn out. Other data
releases include German unemployment, Italian retail sales and euro zone
economic sentiment indicators.
    At 0653 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100
, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.2 to 0.3 percent
lower.
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.1 percent higher 
at 1,378.19 points on Wednesday after hitting a one-month peak, the euro zone's
blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 dropped 0.1 percent and Germany's DAX
 fell 0.2 percent.
    On the mergers and acquisitions front, Vivendi said it received
bids for its GVT Brazilian broadband unit from Telecom Italia and
Telefonica.
    Earnings releases were mixed, with Essilor, the world's largest
maker of opthalmic lenses, reporting a 7.9 percent rise in first-half sales and
French conglomerate Bouygues lowered its sales forecast after posting
weaker-than-expected first-half profit.
   
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0628 GMT:      
                                            LAST   PCT CHG      NET CHG
 S&P 500                                2,000.12    0.01 %          0.1
 NIKKEI                                 15459.86   -0.48 %       -74.96
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                          512.66   -0.29 %        -1.49
 EUR/USD                                  1.3211    0.14 %       0.0019
 USD/JPY                                  103.75    -0.1 %      -0.1000
 10-YR US TSY YLD                          2.350        --        -0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                            0.905        --         0.00
 SPOT GOLD                             $1,287.90    0.42 %        $5.45
 US CRUDE                                 $93.62   -0.28 %        -0.26
                                                                       
 
    MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT)  :
    0755 DE Unemployment
    0800 IT Retail Sales
    0900 EZ Consumer Confidence
    1200 DE HICP Prelim
    1230 US GDP 
    1230 US Jobless Claims
    1400 US Pending Home Sales     

  > ASIA SHARES EDGE UP ON STEADY WALL ST, EURO CLINGS TO GAINS    
  > WALL STREET DRIFTS TO ANOTHER RECORD IN LIGHT TRADING                 
  > NIKKEI DROPS AS INVESTORS GROW UNEASY ABOUT DIMMING ECONOMIC PROSPECTS 
  > YIELDS FALL ON MONTH-END BUYING, EUROPEAN BOND RALLY                
  > HARRIED EURO GETS RESPITE AHEAD OF INFLATION TEST                   
  > GOLD UP FOR THIRD DAY ON SOFTER DOLLAR; PHYSICAL DEMAND LAGS        
  > METALS-LME COPPER DRIFTS IN LOW VOLUMES; EYES ON ECB               
  > METALS-LME COPPER DRIFTS IN LOW VOLUMES; EYES ON ECB                 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:     
    TELECOM ITALIA, VIVENDI, TELEFONICA 
    Vivendi said it received bids for its GVT Brazilian broadband unit from
Telecom Italia and Telefonica, and that its supervisory board would examine the
offers at a meeting on Thursday. The Telecom Italia offer represents a total
enterprise value of 7 billion euros ($9.24 billion), while the Telefonica offer
represents a value of 7.45 billion euros. 
    
    ESSILOR 
    The world's largest maker of opthalmic lenses forecast full-year revenue
growth of more than 13 percent excluding currency effects on Thursday after
first-half sales rose 7.9 percent. 
    
    BOUYGUES 
    The French diversified group lowered its sales forecast after it posted
weaker than expected first-half profit, hit by its aggressive pricing strategy
in telecoms and a sluggish road-building business. 
    
    VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT 
    The French water and waste group said first-half 2014 net profit more than
doubled, as its focus on industrial clients starts to pay off, and confirmed its
earnings targets. 
    
    GLAXOSMITHKLINE 
    U.S. health officials will announce on Thursday that a human study of an
Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline will begin within a couple of weeks and
not later this year as the company estimated originally, according to people
familiar with the plans. 
    
    PERNOD RICARD 
    The French spirits maker Pernod Ricard reported full-year underlying profit
growth of 2 percent on Thursday, broadly in line with analysts' expectations,
amid persistent weakness in China. 
       
    GLENCORE 
    The company will hold talks with the government of the Australian state of
Queensland over developing vast bauxite reserves that have remained untapped for
decades despite a series of attempts by mining companies to get a project off
the ground. 
    
    ROCHE HOLDING 
    The drugmaker's planned $8 billion purchase of InterMune Inc is
centered around hopes for blockbuster sales of its lung drug, but the smaller
company's development pipeline may end up giving the Swiss drugmaker a far
bigger bang for its buck. 
    
    AIRBUS 
    Qantas Airways said it has converted orders for 21 Airbus A320
aircraft into the re-engined A320neo variant and deferred the delivery by four
years. 
    
    GEMALTO 
    The digital security firm reported net profit up 8.4 percent in the first
half at 95.4 million euros thanks to a strong performance in mobile financial
services and payment cards. 
    
    LUFTHANSA 
    Pilots at Lufthansa's low-cost carrier Germanwings are to go on strike for
six hours from 0400 GMT on Friday, labour union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said in
a statement on Thursday. Talks between the two parties are scheduled for later
on Thursday. 
    
    THYSSENKRUPP 
    The United States will not go ahead with planned import duties on
specialized steel from Japan, Germany and Poland after the U.S. International
Trade Commission found the imports were not harming local industry.
 

 (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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