LONDON Aug 21 European equities were expected to open slightly
higher on Thursday, tracking gains in U.S. stocks following the release of the
minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting, although progress was likely to
be capped by disappointing data from China.
Miners are likely to come under pressure as a manufacturing survey from
China, the world's biggest metals consumer, raised concerns about the economy.
The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell
to 50.3 in August from July's 18-month high of 51.7, badly missing a Reuters
forecast of 51.5.
At 0650 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, UK's FTSE 100,
Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were 0.1 to 0.2 percent
U.S. share indexes rose as much as 0.4 percent on Wednesday after minutes
from the Fed's July 29-30 meeting showed that most Fed officials wanted more
evidence before changing their view on when rates should rise.
Investors' focus will shift to the annual meeting of top central bankers in
Jackson Hole from Thursday through Saturday. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is likely to
acknowledge that while data has generally been supportive, she remains concerned
about slack in the labor market. She will speak on Friday.
On the earnings front, the picture remained mixed. Dutch supermarket group
Ahold reported weaker-than-expected operating profit for the second
quarter, while Swiss dental implant maker Nobel Biocare saw its net
profit almost doubling in the second quarter.
Investors awaited a slew of data releases later in the session for hints
about the market's near-term direction. Many will focus on flash Purchasing
Managers' Index (PMI) data from both Germany and France, retail sales numbers
from the United Kingdom and initial jobless claims figures from the United
> ASIA SHARES SLIP AS CHINA DISAPPOINTS, JAPAN BUCKS TREND
> US STOCKS-DOW, S&P 500 RISE AFTER FED MINUTES REASSURE ON RATES
> NIKKEI RISES TO 3-WK HIGH AS FED MINUTES HURT YEN, BUOY EXPORTERS
> TREASURIES-YIELDS CLIMB TO ONE-WEEK PEAKS ON FED MINUTES
> DOLLAR SURGES ON HAWKISH-SOUNDING FED, AUSSIE HIT BY CHINA PMI
> GOLD EXTENDS LOSING STREAK; TRADES AT 2-WK LOW ON STRONG DOLLAR
> LONDON COPPER STAYS AROUND $7,000 AS CHINA FACTORY GROWTH SLOWS
> BRENT EDGES DOWN TO $102, NEAR 14-MONTH LOW, ON CHINA CONCERNS
Dutch supermarket group Ahold on Thursday reported weaker-than-expected
operating profit for the second quarter, as sales fell in the United States and
the Netherlands, its biggest markets.
The Swiss dental implant maker in talks with potential buyers about the sale
of the company raised its profit margin target for this year after net profit
almost doubled in the second quarter.
Telecoms network equipment maker said on Wednesday it had made an early
repayment of a $1.75 billion loan that was secured with the group's patents.
The German chipmaker late on Wednesday announced the takeover of Silicon
Valley-based International Rectifier for about $3 billion in cash, in
its biggest-ever acquisition.
BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO
Junior bondholders of Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo have selected law firm
Shearman & Sterling to represent them in a challenge to the terms of the bank's
rescue and will open discussions with the Bank of Portugal later this week, a
source familiar with the situation said.
Broadcaster RTL Group cut its 2014 outlook on Thursday, citing among other a
new advertising tax in Hungary that hit its earnings in the first half of the
The head of the telcoms firm's Polish unit will leave his job after weaker
than expected results there, Handelsblatt reported. Related news
Britain's opposition Labour Party has pledged to give energy regulator Ofgem
the power to cancel electricity and gas suppliers' licences if they repeatedly
breach rules and cause harm to their customers.
The German industrial machinery and process engineering group said planned
restructuring would include about 1,000 job cuts over the next two to three
Germany's second largest airline said it will cut the number of seats it
offers and reduce the number of aircraft it operates as it launches a new plan
to return to profits.
The Italian lottery operator said on Wednesday 14 banks have agreed to lend
it up to $10.7 billion, in part to back its planned acquisition of U.S. slot
machine maker International Game Technology.
The German industrial machinery and process engineering group said late
Wednesday it will reorganise its operational activities in a bid to reduce costs
by 100 million euros a year by the end of 2017.
Norwegian software maker Opera reported second quarter earnings above
expectations on Thursday and lifted its full-year revenue and earnings
Illumina announced strategic partnerships with drugmaker
AstraZeneca, Janssen and Sanofi in the oncology area.
Kazakhstan-focused copper producer Kazakhmys posted a fall in first-half
core profit, hit by lower metal prices, falling metal ore grades and higher
Oil and gas explorer Premier Oil reported a 7 percent rise in first-half
profit after tax, helped by a higher-than-expected increase in oil production
from its British fields.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)