(Adds further details, company news)
LONDON, Aug 14 Financial spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE
100 to open between flat and 2 points higher, Germany's DAX to
open 6 to 7 points higher and France's CAC 40 to open 2 points higher,
all between flat and up 0.1 percent in percentage terms.
Eurostat will publish a flash estimate of second-quarter economic growth in
the euro zone at 0900 GMT. Economists expect expansion of 0.2 percent on the
quarter in the three months to June, the same pace as seen in the first quarter.
France slashed on Thursday its growth forecasts for both 2014 and 2015 and
said it would miss its public deficit target this year, urging its European
peers and their central bank to take steps to boost faltering growth and head
The german steelmaker said it may return to a net profit this year, raising
its outlook for a second time as restructuring at its steel mill in Brazil paid
off and demand for elevators and chemicals plants bolstered earnings.
RWE said its operating earnings fell 40 percent in the first half of 2014,
putting it on track for its third straight year of declining profits as low
wholesale power prices and demand continue to burden Germany's second-biggest
VIVENDI TELECOM ITALIA
Telecom Italia Chief Executive Marco Patuano met Vivendi chairman Vincent
Bollore on Wednesday to discuss an offer for the French group's Brazilian
broadband unit GVT, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Operating profit at the German potash miner declined 3.3 percent as lower
prices of the fertiliser mineral were partly offset by an insurance payment for
an accident at one of its mines.
The Dutch insurer reported a 7 percent rise in second-quarter profit, helped
by a rise in deposits and gains in equity markets.
MARKS & SPENCER
The British retailer is close to having both its food and general
merchandise divisions "firing on all cylinders" and expects a better Christmas
after poor clothing sales hit last holiday season, according to its food
ERSTE GROUP, UNICREDIT
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded three systemically important
Austrian banks - Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich RZB.UL, Erste Group and
Unicredit Bank Austria UCUBA.UL - in response to new bail-in legislation.
China will fine German premium auto brand Audi around 250 million
yuan ($40.63 million) for violating anti-monopoly laws, the 21st Century
Business Herald, an influential business daily, reported on
Colombian electricity company Celsia ES will buy stakes in
power-generating facilities in Panama and Costa Rica from France's GDF Suez for
$840 million, Celsia said in a filing with Colombia's financial regulator on
Wednesday, the first time the company has expanded abroad.
SANOFI, ROCHE, GSK, ACTELION
U.S. biotechnology company InterMune Inc ITMN.O is working with financial
advisers to evaluate strategic options as it braces for potential takeover
interest from larger drugmakers, people familiar with the matter said.
Separately, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that InterMune has drawn
takeover bids from Sanofi SA, Roche Holding AG,
GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Actelion Ltd.
General Electric Co is reportedly in talks with Sweden's Electrolux
AB and Quirky Inc to sell its household appliances unit, Bloomberg reported,
citing people familiar with the matter.
Germany's biggest lender and shopping center operator ECE have signed a
preliminary agreement to buy the building complex "Palais Quartier" in Frankfurt
for 800 million euros ($1.07 billion) from Rabobank, Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung said on Thursday, citing sources.
MAJOR EUROPEAN COMPANIES REPORTING :
TUI AG Q3
AIR BERLIN PLC Q2
AEROPORTS DE PARIS SA TRAFFIC
MAJOR U.S. COMPANIES REPORTING :
AMC Q3 2014 Agilent Technologies Inc.
AMC Q3 2014 Applied Materials
MAJOR MACROECONOMIC DATA/EVENTS (GMT) :
0900 EZ GDP Flash Estimate Q2
0900 EZ Inflation, Final Jul
1230 US Initial Jobless w/e
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0542 GMT:
LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1,946.72 0.67 % 12.97
NIKKEI 15329.74 0.76 % 116.11
MSCI ASIA EX-JP 507.89 0.29 % 1.47
EUR/USD 1.336 -0.03 % -0.0004
USD/JPY 102.60 0.19 % 0.1900
10-YR US TSY YLD 2.435 -- 0.01
10-YR BUND YLD 1.030 -- 0.00
SPOT GOLD $1,312.58 0.02 % $0.22
US CRUDE $97.32 -0.28 % -0.27
> SHARES, BONDS RALLY AS INVESTORS BANK ON ENDLESS STIMULUS
> BIOTECHS LIFT WALL ST; DOW BACK IN BLACK FOR 2014
> NIKKEI EXTENDS RALLY, SUPPORTED BY PUBLIC BUYING HOPES
> BOND YIELDS FALL ON WEAK DATA, 10-YEAR AUCTION SOLID
> POUND HITS 4-MONTH LOW AFTER BOE'S DOVISH SHIFT, EURO EYES GDP
> GOLD RETAINS GAINS ON SOFT U.S. DATA, SAFE-HAVEN DEMAND
> LONDON COPPER SLIPS TO 7-WEEK LOWS ON CHINA WORRIES
> BRENT FALLS BELOW $104 AFTER BRIEF RECOVERY FROM 13-MONTH LOW
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa)