LONDON, March 4 European equity futures indicated a lower open
to stock markets on Monday, with traders citing concerns over U.S. budget cuts,
Italy's political deadlock and Chinese plans for tighter controls on its
property sector as reasons for the likely fall.
The March futures contract for the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
fell 0.9 percent, while futures contracts for Germany's DAX and
for France's CAC fell 0.8 percent.
A sell-off in Chinese equities dragged Asian shares down sharply on Monday,
as worries about Beijing tightening its grip on the property sector compounded
weak sentiment already dampened by a patchy global growth outlook.
"It's the change in the property rules in China that is hitting sentiment,"
said Terry Torrison, managing director at Monaco-based McLaren Securities.
Capital Spreads dealer Jonathan Sudaria added that ongoing concerns over
U.S. budget cuts - referred to as the "sequester" - would also continue to
prevent equity markets from gaining much ground in the near term.
"European equity markets are set to edge lower on the open as sequester
uncertainty bites," Sudaria wrote in a research note.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.2 percent to
1,168.64 points on Friday while the Euro STOXX 50 dropped 0.6
percent to 2,626.75 points.
However, Torrison expected investors to continue to use falls in the stock
market to move in to buy up shares for relatively cheap prices, which would
prevent any major decline on equity markets.
"I don't see any reason for panicking out. We've had a great run but people
are still finding more value in equities than bonds," he said.
HSBC will dominate the European earnings front when it reports full-year
results on Monday, with the bank expected to announce a 2012 pre-tax profit of
around $23 billion, according to the average of 28 analysts polled by Reuters.
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0731 GMT
LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1,518.20 0.23 % 3.52
NIKKEI 11,652.2 0.4 % 45.91
MSCI ASIA <.MIASJ0000P 546.05 -1.58 % -8.79
EUR/USD 1.2992 -0.22 % -0.0028
USD/JPY 93.41 -0.16 % -0.1500
10-YR US TSY 1.834 -- -0.01
10-YR BUND YLD 1.396 -- -0.02
SPOT GOLD $1,576.8 0.12 % $1.94
US CRUDE $90.29 -0.43 % -0.39
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares tumble; property curbs spark China sell-off
> US STOCKS-Wall Street advances as data outweighs budget cuts
> Nikkei gains on BOJ governor hope, but futures trade suspension trims gains
> TREASURIES-Prices rise as spending cuts point to weaker growth
> FOREX-Yen up broadly on safe-haven flows as China equities slump on property
> PRECIOUS-Gold prices firm on Asia buying, upbeat US data weighs
> METALS-Copper steady on bargain hunting; China property worries weigh
> Brent slips towards $110 as U.S. spending cuts kick in
AB INBEV : Budweiser-maker Anheuser-Busch InBev defended itself
against allegations it is watering down its alcoholic drinks by taking out
full-page advertisements in newspapers across the United States.
BANK OF IRELAND : Bank of Ireland reported a full-year underlying
operating profit of 242 million euros ($314.21 million).
DEUTSCHE BANK : Indian real estate developer Unitech said Friday
it wants to add allegations linked to the manipulation of Libor to an existing
dispute with Deutsche Bank, in a move that could set a precedent for cases
against other banks.
FRENCH TAKEOVER RULES: French markets regulator AMF has submitted proposals
to the government to counter hostile takeovers, including requiring bidders to
win at least 50 percent shareholder acceptance, the business daily Les Echos
said on Sunday.
LINDE : The world's No.2 industrial gases group will likely appoint
a new chief executive from outside the company when Wolfgang Reitzle steps down
at the end of his contract in May 2014, its two top managers told a German
VIVENDI : French conglomerate Vivendi reaffirmed on Monday that it
would propose the appointment of French industrialist Vincent Bollore to its
supervisory board at its annual shareholder meeting on April 30.