LONDON, March 6 European stocks are seen slightly softer at the
open on Wednesday as investors lock in some profits on the previous session's
jump to multiyear highs and nervousness creeps in ahead of key central bank
meetings and data due this week.
Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open down 5
to 10 points, Germany's DAX to fall 7 to 13 points, and France's CAC 40
to ease 7 to 8 points. That represents a fall of as much as 0.2 percent
for all three indexes.
"There could be an element of caution today in terms of taking substantial
positions due to the market weighty event risks due during the latter part of
this week," analysts at Credit Agricole CIB said in a note.
The EuroSTOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips added 2.4 percent
on Tuesday, accelerating gains in afternoon trade after the Dow Jones Industrial
average in the United States scaled record highs.
The broader, pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.8
percent at 1,189.02 points, its highest finish in 4-1/2 years but just short of
the February 2011 intraday peak of 1,191.56 points.
Given the scale of the gains, traders said the market would likely need a
fresh catalyst for another move higher, which could come from decisions by the
European Central Bank and the Bank of England on Thursday, or from the keenly
watched U.S. jobs report on Friday.
Analysts see a 40 percent chance for more bond buying from the Bank of
England and a 10 percent likelihood of an interest rate cut from
the ECB this week.
Clues on the U.S. non-farm payrolls data for February, meanwhile, can come
from the ADP report on private sector employment at 1315 GMT.
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0600 GMT:
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 600 GMT
LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1,539.79 0.96 % 14.59
NIKKEI 11,932.27 2.13 % 248.82
MSCI ASIA EX-JP 554.98 0.87 % 4.76
EUR/USD 1.3064 0.11 % 0.0014
USD/JPY 93.17 -0.12 % -0.1100
10-YR US TSY YLD 1.905 -- 0.01
10-YR BUND YLD 1.453 -- 0.00
SPOT GOLD $1,578.25 0.2 % $3.19
US CRUDE $91.04 0.24 % 0.22
> Asian shares, commodities up as Dow record bolsters
> US STOCKS-Dow surges to new closing high on economy, Fed's help
> Nikkei at 4-1/2 yr high; domestic-demand stocks lift Topix above 1,000
> TREASURIES-Prices ease as China, US hopes lift Dow to record high
> FOREX-Euro, commodity currencies retain edge after Dow hits record
> PRECIOUS-Gold drifts on growth hopes; Asia buying lends support
> METALS-London copper edges up on signs of U.S. recovery
> Brent steady near $112, tracking equities, stronger growth outlook
DANSKE BANK - Danish philanthropic association Realdania is
planning to halve its stake in the country's biggest lender with a share sale
worth as much as $1 billion.
EDP - Portugal's biggest company, posted a 10 percent fall in net
profits, hit by the recession in the region, and said another tough year lies
ahead due to a regulatory squeeze on energy prices.
VODAFONE - Verizon Communications Inc has weighed several
options involving its relationship with Vodafone and its joint ownership of
Verizon Wireless ranging from ending its wireless venture with the European
company to a full merger with Vodafone, Bloomberg reported.
ASM - The Dutch semiconductor equipment maker reported a
fourth-quarter loss as sales at chip dicing and packaging equipment business
fell 28 percent sequentially.
EDENRED - French financial holding company Eurazeo said
it is selling its 10.2 percent stake in French vouchers and pre-paid cards group
Edenred through a private placement. Colony Capital, which holds 21.5 percent of
Edenred in concert with Eurazeo, said in a statement it planned to keep its 11.3
percent stake and 14.08 percent of the voting rights.
VIVENDI - The conglomerate said a New York court had dismissed
securities fraud claims by GAMCO Investors related to the 2001-2002 period when
the group verged on bankruptcy under former chief executive Jean-Marie Messier.