LONDON Feb 18 European shares were expected to extend gains on
Tuesday, with investors betting that German economic sentiment data will be
encouraging and strong results from BHP Billiton will support basic
The Mannheim-based ZEW economic think tank's poll of German economic
sentiment for February, due at 1000 GMT, is expected to have steadied at 61.7,
while the forecast for current conditions is seen rising to 44 from 41.2 in the
"Any further improvement (in German ZEW) would back the idea that the
current recovery has legs, with business confidence returning to all euro zone
member states and not only to Germany," Credit Agricole said in a note.
Investors will also scrutinise UK inflation numbers, to be released at 0930
GMT. Inflation, based on the consumer price index, is forecast to show a fall in
January from a month earlier. For the year, inflation is likely to show a
reading of 2 percent, in line with the Bank of England' target.
Analysts said a soft reading of inflation numbers would mean that the
central bank will keep rates lower for a longer time.
The market's spotlight will also be on company earnings, with French
retailer Casino posting an 18.1 percent rise in 2013 operating profit
and expecting its sales and profits to grow this year.
Basic resources stocks could get some support after global miner BHP
Billiton topped forecasts with a 31 percent rise in first-half profit
and hinted it may launch a share buyback in August, despite a cautious outlook
on Chinese growth.
European shares have been helped by relatively good corporate results in the
current earnings season, with 58 percent of companies reporting in-line or
better-than-expected profits, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.
At 0734 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100
, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.2 to 0.4 percent
Tuesday's gains will be on the top of a 0.4 percent rise to a three-week
high recorded by pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index on Monday, when
volumes were lower than average due to a holiday in the United States.
Italian shares are expected to gain further on improvements on the political
front. The country's centre-left leader Matteo Renzi received a mandate on
Monday to form a new government, promising rapid tax, labour and institutional
reforms to revive a deeply troubled economy.
Europe bourses in 2014:
Asset performance in 2014:------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dollar near 6-week lows, Asian shares mostly softer
> Nikkei rises more than 3 pct after BOJ decision, banks soar
> Yen slumps as BOJ stands pat, extends loan scheme
> Gold snaps rally on profit-taking; hovers near 3-1/2 month high
> London copper steady, underpinned by China post-holiday buying
> Brent stays above $109 on US winter demand, weak dollar
Global miner BHP Billiton topped market forecasts with a 31 percent rise in
first-half profit on Tuesday and hinted it may launch a share buyback in August,
despite a cautious outlook on Chinese growth.
In a crackdown on currencies traders, financial institutions including Royal
Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank and UBS are
reviewing the rules governing how traders make bets with their own money, the
Financial Times reported on Monday.
French retailer Casino said on Tuesday it was confident it would grow sales
and profits this year after it posted an 18.1 percent rise in 2013 operating
profit as robust growth in Brazil offset a weak home market.
Vodafone has lodged a complaint against Spanish rival Telefonica,
alleging it is abusing its position in Spain to reduce competition for telecoms,
Internet and television services.
Swiss dental implant maker Nobel Biocare expects higher market
share and sales in 2014 as it notched up its first annual revenue growth in six
years. For more, click on:
The French industrial gases group said it was confident it would achieve
further earnings growth this year as it posted a 3.1 percent rise in 2013 net
The hotels group posted higher annual profits.
The drugmaker's Merial animal health division won European Commission
approval for its NexGard oral treatment for flea and tick infestations in dogs.
JOHN WOOD GROUP
British energy services company Wood Group reported on Tuesday an increase
in full year profit of 14 percent, in line with the company's expectations, as
strong performance in services and engineering offset weakness in its gas
The car maker's founding family gave the go-ahead on Monday for a 3 billion
euro tie-up with China's Dongfeng that would draw a line under one of
France's oldest industrial dynasties, sources said.
Dongfeng and Peugeot will sign a memorandum of understanding on a capital
tie-up on Tuesday, a Dongfeng source said.