February 12, 2013 / 6:35 AM / 5 years ago

Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to dip; Barclays in focus

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - European stocks are seen edging down on Tuesday,
adding to the previous session's losses as a raft of gloomy outlooks from
companies such as German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp hurt market
    Investors were also cautious after North Korea conducted its third-ever
nuclear test on Tuesday, a move likely to anger its main ally China and increase
international action against Pyongyang. 
    At 0732 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were down 0.2 percent.
    The banking sector will be in the spotlight again after UK lender Barclays
 said it will axe at least 3,700 jobs and prune parts of its investment
bank, part of a plan to cut 1.7 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) in annual costs.
    ThyssenKrupp, Germany's biggest steelmaker, warned that it saw no global
economic recovery this year, as slump in steel prices and weak car markets
caused a 38 percent drop in its quarterly core profit.
    A similar tone from Dutch navigation devices and digital map company TomTom
, which said it expects a sharp drop in earnings in 2013, hurt in part
by the weak state of the European car market. 
    The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index has lost 4.8
percent since a high reached two weeks ago, dragged lower in part by the return
of worries about political risks in Spain and Italy.
    "This consolidation phase is not over yet, but all in all, it's mostly a
pause in the long-term rally," Talence Gestion fund manager Alexandre Le Drogoff
    "U.S. indices are testing historical highs and breaking above them won't be
easy. It might take a bit of time. Meanwhile, we've reduced our exposure to
equities, and we've bought a bit of protection for the portfolios."
    Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong markets were closed for a holiday on Tuesday.
 MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0733 GMT                            
                                         LAST  PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             1,517.01  -0.06 %    -0.92
 NIKKEI                             11,369.12   1.94 %   215.96
 EUR/USD                               1.3388  -0.13 %  -0.0018
 USD/JPY                                94.20  -0.11 %  -0.1000
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.957       --    -0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         1.605       --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,644.56  -0.19 %   -$3.09
 US CRUDE                              $96.90  -0.13 %    -0.13
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Yen near fresh lows vs dlr, Asian shares steady 
  > Wall St ends flat as investors seek new catalysts 
  > Nikkei jumps 2.4 pct on weak yen; financials, exporters lead 
  > TREASURIES-Bonds steady, no reaction to North Korea 
  > Yen nurses losses after drop on Treasury official comment 
  > PRECIOUS-Gold falls to 1-mth low, Tokyo pulls back from record 
  > Copper steady in holiday-thinned trade, China outlook supports 
  > Brent keeps above $118, calm over N.Korea nuclear test 
    Germany's biggest steelmaker warned that it saw no global economic recovery
this year after a slump in steel prices and weak car markets caused a 38 percent
drop in its quarterly core profit. 
    The French electrical materials supplier said fourth-quarter like-for-like
sales fell 4.7 percent, hurt by increasingly challenging market conditions, a
low level of residential construction and project delays.
    The world's second-largest tyremaker said strong pricing and lower
raw-material costs helped lift profit in 2012, pledging to hold onto gains this
year even as sales volumes remain broadly flat. 
    The Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro reported an 89 percent plunge in
fourth-quarter operating profit as aluminium prices fell by a fifth from a year
earlier on poor global demand, bloated global stocks and overcapacity.
    The French cosmetics maker is to spend about 500 million euros, or a third
of its cash, buying back shares, it said when reporting quarterly like-for-like
sales growth accelerated to 5.3 percent. 
    The world's biggest maker of car interiors scrapped its dividend and pledged
to lift profit in 2013 by slashing costs to counter Europe's auto slump.

   The French luxury group posted a 16.4 percent rise in full-year sales at
constant exchange rates that beat its own forecast and predicted a slight rise
in its 2012 operating margin. 

    Moody's has cut its rating on Italy's Telecom Italia by one notch to Baa3,
citing weaker cash flow and a failure to meet a year-end debt target as its core
domestic market falters. 

    Eni has signaled it could be open to a sale of its oil services subsidiary
Saipem after a widening corruption probe in Algeria left mud sticking to the oil
    The Norwegian oil company posted a fourth-quarter net profit well above
forecasts on Tuesday and said it aimed to double production at its prize Tawke
field in Iraq. 
    The Dutch navigation devices and digital map company said it expects a sharp
drop in earnings this year, reflecting the weak state of the European car market
and competition from providers of free maps. 
    The European Commission sees "no grounds" to give German vehicle makers more
time to comply with EU law requiring a less polluting coolant to be used in
vehicle air-conditioning, a letter seen by Reuters said, despite safety concerns
cited by Daimler. 
    Germany's second largest software maker will start buying back shares worth
up to 180 million euros commencing Tuesday, the company said late on Monday.
    Finnish utility Fortum could sell majority of its distribution business and
become a minority owner in electricity distribution company, its Chief Executive
Tapio Kuula told business daily Kauppalehti. Fortum said last month it may sell
its distribution unit.
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