(Recasts, adds futures and company news)
LONDON, Aug 1 European stocks were seen falling for a third
straight day on Friday, mirroring a sell-off on Wall Street, as investors grew
nervous ahead of U.S. jobs data, which is expected to shed light on the chances
of an early end to the Federal Reserve's ultra-easy, equity-friendly monetary
At 0602 GMT, futures for the euro zone Euro STOXX 50, Britain's
FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were between
0.1 percent and 0.2 percent lower.
A strong U.S. employment report would strengthen the case for an early
interest rate hike by the Fed, whose ultra-easy monetary policy has been key in
fuelling a nearly 40 percent rally in European equities over the past two years.
The Euro STOXX 50 recorded its steepest monthly loss in over a
year in July, falling 3.4 percent on the back of concerns about a Fed rate hike
following strong U.S. GDP and labour costs data earlier this week, as well as
geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East.
The U.S. S&P 500 stock index posted its worst daily fall since April
on Thursday, while the CBOE Volatility index, often referred to as Wall
Street's fear gauge, jumped 27.2 percent to close at 16.95, its highest level
since April 11.
Sentiment improved somewhat overnight after Chinese data showed a
surprisingly strong pick up in manufacturing activity in the world's second
U.S. non-farm payrolls, due at 1230 GMT, were expected to show 233,000 jobs
were added last month, with the unemployment rate seen steady at 6.1 percent.
In the meantime, results from a number of European blue-chip companies were
set to keep investors busy.
Europe's second-biggest insurer, AXA reported a
better-than-expected 25 percent increase in first-half net profit while
Arcelormittal, the world's largest steelmaker, cut its forecast for
earnings this year after lower than anticipated iron ore prices.
French cosmetics giant L'Oreal reported a slightly
lower-than-expected rise in second-quarter comparable sales and said growth at
its consumer goods division was held up by sluggish demand in the United States.
Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v)
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0602 GMT:
LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1,930.67 -2 % -39.4
NIKKEI 15523.11 -0.63 % -97.66
MSCI ASIA EX-JP 504.28 -1.02 % -5.2
EUR/USD 1.3385 -0.02 % -0.0003
USD/JPY 102.92 0.13 % 0.1300
10-YR US TSY YLD 2.576 -- 0.02
10-YR BUND YLD 1.174 -- 0.01
SPOT GOLD $1,284.20 0.16 % $2.11
US CRUDE $97.98 -0.19 % -0.19
> ASIA STOCKS PRESSURED BY WALL ST, BUT CHINA HELPS
> S&P500 INDEX POSTS WORST FALL SINCE APRIL; INDEXES DOWN FOR JULY
> NIKKEI DROPS ON CONCERN ABOUT U.S. RATES; SONY, PANASONIC SHINE
> TREASURIES-PRICES STABILIZE ON MONTH-END DEMAND
> DOLLAR PAUSES NEAR 10-MONTH HIGH AHEAD OF U.S. JOBS DATA
> GOLD NEAR 6-WEEK LOW, POISED FOR THIRD WEEKLY LOSS
> COPPER UNDERPINNED AS CHINESE FACTORY ACTIVITY GATHERS STEAM
> BRENT HOLDS NEAR $106 AFTER AMPLE SUPPLY PULLS DOWN PRICES
The French cosmetics giant reported a 4.1 percent rise in second-quarter
comparable sales, slightly below expectations, and said growth at its consumer
goods division was held up by sluggish demand in the United States.
The gas and power group reported a 14 percent drop in first-half core
earnings, due largely to unseasonably warm weather and falling power prices in
Europe, the temporary closure of two nuclear reactors in Belgium and a drought
in Brazil that hit hydropower generation.
Europe's second-biggest insurer, reported a better-than-expected 25 percent
increase in first-half net profit on a comparable basis, boosted by strong
earnings growth and a favourable impact of lower interest rates on the value of
its financial assets.
The world's largest steelmaker cut its forecast for earnings this year after
lower than anticipated iron ore prices ate into the profit of its mining
Europe's biggest construction and concessions company warned it expects a
slowdown in the second half of 2014, especially outside Europe, and a slight
decrease in its revenue for the year on a like-for-like basis.
ILIAD, DEUTSCHE TELEKOM
French telecommunications company Iliad SA has made a surprise
offer for T-Mobile US Inc, setting up a potential bidding war with
Sprint Corp, the U.S. mobile carrier now controlled by Japan's Softbank
The French bank said it had agreed to buy an 81.4 percent stake in DAB Bank
AG from UniCredit unit Hypovereinsbank at 4.78 euros a share
in a deal that values the whole of DAB at 435 million euros.
The French bank reported second-quarter net profit rose 29 percent to 33
million euros and confirmed it had at the end of June wound up "bad bank" GAPC,
set up after the 2008 financial crisis to hold toxic assets.
The French media group reiterated its full-year target for flat to 5 percent
higher recurring media operating profit despite a first-half drop due to what it
called an expected decline at its publishing unit.
Mutually owned French bank BPCE and listed insurer CNP Assurances have
reached a new seven-year co-insurance partnership deal beginning in 2016 that
could resolve how to proceed after their current deal expires at the end of next
Holds extraordinary shareholders' meeting (0900 GMT).
Fiat shareholders are expected to approve the Italian carmaker's merger with
its U.S. unit Chrysler on Friday, a union aimed at boosting the world's
seventh-largest auto group's appeal with foreign investors and paving the way
for a U.S. share listing.
HypoVereinsbank, the German arm of Italy's UniCredit, said on Thursday that
an internal probe concluded that the bank had conducted "cum-ex" transactions,
also known as dividend stripping, that had helped clients avoid
State-run Petroleos de Venezuela delivered in June to Eni a 240,000 barrel
jet fuel cargo that had been tendered in May on the open market, according to an
internal PDVSA document seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi on Thursday said the Italian major intends to sell
off a stake in engineering subsidiary Saipem in the future but does not want to
break up the business.
Prysmian Group estimated problems with the installation of cables between
Scotland and England would cost it 167 million euros ($224 million), leading it
to lower its full-year forecast of adjusted core earnings on
Italian defence group Finmeccanica reaffirmed its full-year forecast on
Thursday even though defence budget cuts, especially in the United States,
pushed first-half core earnings 18 percent lower.
Tractor and trucks maker CNH Industrial said on Thursday its second-quarter
net profit inched higher after lower sales of agricultural machinery were offset
by higher deliveries from its propulsion and transmission systems
Italian eyewear maker Safilo Group posted on Thursday a 23 percent rise in
adjusted net profit in the second quarter as sales grew faster in Europe and
weather in North America improved after a harsh winter.
Italian shoemaker Geox confirmed its forecast of breaking even at the
operating level this year after sales rose in the first half including in its
weak home market, which accounts for a third of its revenue.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Atul Prakash)