PARIS, March 27 European stocks are set to rise on Wednesday,
extending the previous session's gains and tracking a rally on Wall Street,
where robust data on home prices and manufacturing fuelled optimism about the
pace of the economic recovery.
At 0720 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100,
for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.3-0.5 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average hit a fresh record close while the
S&P 500 rose to just below its all-time closing high, after data showed
U.S. single-family home prices rose in January at the fastest pace in more than
six years, while long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods, also known as durable
goods orders, surged in February.
Gains could be limited in Europe, however, as Cyprus was still in focus on
Wednesday, as the country is expected to complete capital control measures to
prevent a run on the banks by depositors anxious about their savings following a
controversial bailout package with international lenders. Cypriot banks are due
to reopen on Thursday.
European stocks dropped last week as the initial plan to rescue Cyprus
involving a levy on all bank deposits sparked fears of bank runs in the euro
zone's most indebted countries.
"The Cyprus crisis has been a strong reminder that the euro zone is not out
of the woods yet, and it has removed some of the complacency seen earlier this
year, which is a good thing," a Paris-based trader said.
"Investors have to do their homeworks now, picking the stocks with the
biggest exposure to the U.S. recovery for instance, and avoiding pure euro zone
domestic names, even if they look cheap."
Italy - still without a government following last month's inconclusive
election - will also be in the spotlight on Wednesday as the country is set to
sell up to 7 billion euros ($9.00 billion) of 5-year and 10-year bonds, with
investors seeking insight on the impact on demand for peripheral euro zone debt
following the escalation of Cyprus's debt crisis.
Late on Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund released a report saying
Italy's banking sector is well capitalised but still faces risks because of a
prolonged recession and exposure to sovereign debt, recommending measures such
as higher loan loss provisions.
European equities have strongly recovered since mid-2012 - with the Euro
STOXX 50 surging about 30 percent - propelled by the European Central Bank's
pledge to safeguard the euro, which eased worries of a break-up of the region's
The rally stalled last month, however, as the return of concerns over
political risks in the euro zone, such as the political impasse in Italy, a
corruption scandal in Spain and Cyprus's mounting debt crisis, prompted
investors to move to the sidelines.
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0721 GMT
LAST PCT CHG NET CHG
S&P 500 1,563.77 0.78 % 12.08
NIKKEI 12,493.79 0.18 % 22.17
MSCI ASIA EX-JP 544.20 0.63 % 3.42
EUR/USD 1.2848 -0.09 % -0.0012
USD/JPY 94.76 0.37 % 0.3500
10-YR US TSY YLD 1.911 -- 0.00
10-YR BUND YLD 1.335 -- -0.01
SPOT GOLD $1,594.46 -0.26 % -$4.13
US CRUDE $96.09 -0.26 % -0.25
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares boosted by U.S. recovery momentum
> Data lifts Dow to a record, S&P near record close
> Nikkei flat in choppy trade; ex-factor drags
> TREASURIES-Bonds firm in Asia on Cyprus worries, soft consumer data
> FOREX-Euro sulks near 4-month low, yen nudged down by BOJ hopes
> PRECIOUS-Gold holds near $1,600, upbeat US data dents appeal
> METALS-LME copper edges up after strong US data
> Brent steady above $109, robust U.S. data supports
Italy's banking sector is well capitalised but still faces risks because of
a prolonged recession and exposure to sovereign debt, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.
John Legere, the chief executive T-Mobile USA, said he expects shareholders
to approve the company's plan to merge with MetroPCS Communications Inc.
The oil services firm signed two major deals with Petrobras to
deliver subsea equipment in the Santos Basin, 300 kilometres offshore Brazil, it
said on Wednesday.
The bank said on Wednesday it will buy Morgan Stanley's wealth
management arm in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for an undisclosed price.
ENEL, ENDESA, ENEL GREEN POWER
The utility is interested in a 10-20 percent share in the Trans Adriatic
Pipeline (TAP) project that would carry gas from the Caspian region to Italy
through Greece and Albania, Enel's chief executive officer said on Tuesday.
Fulvio Conti also said Enel will not sell assets of its Spanish unit Endesa
or a stake in its renewable unit Enel Green Power as part of
its disposal plans.
U.S. insurer Protective Life Insurance is the leading candidate to
buy some of AXA SA's U.S. life insurance assets in a deal that could be valued
at around $1 billion, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Italy's largest commercial broadcaster posted on Tuesday a 2012 net loss of
287 million euros ($369 million), against a profit of 225 million euros in 2011,
hit by write-downs on sports rights as well as restructuring costs.
France said it was launching the sale of a 3.12 percent stake in the
aerospace group and would use the proceeds to fund investments to bolster the
Germany's Allianz said on Wednesday it agreed to buy insurance business Yapi
Kredi Sigorta from Turkish lender Yapi Kredi Bank.
Louis Vuitton, the world's biggest luxury brand by sales, has put up the
prices of its non-leather handbags in most markets since the beginning of the
year, broker HSBC said in a note sent to clients.
Lagardere's chief executive reiterated that the group planned to sell its
stake in EADS by the summer, Les Echos reported.
The Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk's terminals unit lost
its bid operate the Virginia Port Authority, according to Daily Press. The
report said the Port Authority voted against privatising the state's ocean
terminals, currently run by Virginia International Terminals.