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Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen mixed before Bernanke testimony
May 22, 2013 / 5:25 AM / in 4 years

Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen mixed before Bernanke testimony

* Adds further detail, analyst comment, company news items

    PARIS, May 22 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen mixed on Wednesday, with
the market's month-long rally taking a breather as investors await clues from
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the central bank's stimulus
measures before increasing their exposure to equities.
    At 0619 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50 were up 0.11 percent, for
UK's FTSE 100 up 0.18 percent, for Germany's DAX up 0.08 percent
and for France's CAC down 0.1 percent.
    European shares stalled around multi-year peaks on Tuesday, held back by
worries over the outlook for the Fed's bond buyback programme following recent
comments from Fed members.
    After the European close on Tuesday, however, two senior Fed officials
played down the chances the central bank will soon signal a readiness to trim
its bond buying programme, sparking gains on Wall Street.
    New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley and St. Louis Fed
chief James Bullard, both of whom will vote at the Fed's June 18-19 policy
meeting, made clear further economic progress was needed before they would
support curtailing bond purchases. 
    "While Dudley's dovish comments weren't that much of a surprise, Bullard's
overly dovish tone was, and his robust defence of the merits of QE was taken as
a sign that maybe markets are expecting far too much from this afternoon's Fed
minutes, as well as Bernanke's testimony to Congress," Michael Hewson, senior
market analyst at CMC Markets, wrote in a note.
    Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's April 30-May 1 policy
meeting will be released at 1800 GMT.
    The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index has surged 11
percent since mid-April, reaching a near-two year high, lifted mostly by massive
central bank liquidity.
    In Japan on Wednesday, the country's central bank kept policy steady and
upgraded its assessment of the economy, saying it "has started picking up," as
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's programme of aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus
has boosted sentiment while a weaker yen has halted a decline in exports.
 
    The sharp month-long rally has propelled the Euro STOXX 50's valuation ratio
to levels not seen since early 2010, with the benchmark trading at 11.4 times
expected earnings in the next 12 months, above a 10-year average
price-to-earnings ratio of 11, data from Thomson Reuters Datastream shows.
              
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0620 GMT: 
 
                                    LAST       PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                            1,669.16   0.17 %   2.87
 NIKKEI                             15,627.26  1.6 %    246.24
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                    561.71     -0.08 %  -0.47
 EUR/USD                            1.2911     0.05 %   0.0006
 USD/JPY                            102.57     0.11 %   0.1100
 10-YR US TSY YLD                   1.933      --       0.00
 10-YR BUND YLD                     1.388      --       -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,377.90  0.18 %   $2.46
 US CRUDE                           $95.77     -0.43 %  -0.41
                                                        
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks cheered by Fed reassurance 
  > Dow, S&P end at records on Fed officials' reassurance 
  > Nikkei climbs 1.6 pct to 5-1/2-yr high on BOJ optimism, Sony surges 
  > TREASURIES-Bonds supported after dovish Fed comments 
  > Dollar treads water as investors hold breath for Bernanke testimony 
  > PRECIOUS-Gold gains on China demand, hopes of US stimulus continuing 
  > METALS-LME copper near 2-week top on hints Fed stimulus will stay 
  > Brent dips further below $104 on nerves over summer demand 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN 
    PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to close a research and administrative site near
Paris and transfer its 660 workers to other plants as part of the French
carmaker's cost-cutting plans, according to an internal document seen by
Reuters. 
    
    EDF 
    The French utility has entered exclusive talks to sell its 49 percent stake
in Slovakia's No. 2 electricity distributor Stredoslovenska Energetika (SSE) to
Czech energy company EPH, it said on Tuesday. 
    
    FRANCE TELECOM 
    The group to invest between 30 and 50 million euros ($64 million) in its
video-sharing website Dailymotion and begin a fresh search for a partner in the
autumn, its chief executive said on Tuesday. 
    
    TELEFONICA 
    The telecoms giant has put on hold plans to publicly list its Latin American
unit, a senior executive said late on Tuesday at the Reuters Latin America
Investment Summit. But an IPO could be ready with a few months if needed, he
said. 
    
    SANOFI 
    A new type of asthma drug meant to attack the underlying causes of the
respiratory disease slashed episodes by 87 percent in a mid-stage trial, making
it a potential game changer for patients with moderate to severe disease,
researchers said on Tuesday. Dupilumab is an injectable treatment being
developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and drugmaker Sanofi.
 
    
    UBS 
    UBS lost a bid Tuesday to dismiss a whistle-blower lawsuit by a former
commercial mortgage-backed securities strategist who said he was fired for
refusing to publish misleading research reports. 
    
    ROCHE 
    Roche Holding AG teamed up with Sigma-Aldrich Corp to make an
unsuccessful bid for Life Technologies Corp earlier this year, people
familiar with the matter said. 
    
    TELECOM ITALIA 
    The Italian phone company denied on Tuesday that a company break-up was
under consideration. Earlier on Tuesday three sources told Reuters Telecom
Italia was mulling a spinoff of its mobile unit along with its fixed-line
network from the rest of the company to bring new investors on board.

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