April 10, 2013 / 5:20 AM / 5 years ago

European Factors to Watch-Higher start expected on Chinese imports boost

LONDON, April 10 (Reuters) - European equity indexes were expected to open
mostly higher on Wednesday as Chinese trade data suggested domestic demand from
the world's second-biggest economy was gathering pace.    
    Futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX, France's CAC
 were between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent higher at 0625 GMT.
    Britain's FTSE 100, which was Tuesday's standout performer with a
0.6 percent rise, was seen opening broadly flat, according to financial
spreadbetters. Ex-dividend factors were set to shave 0.6 index points off the UK
benchmark, according to Reuters calculations. 
    Chinese imports surged much more than expected in March, indicating stronger
domestic demand and showing China's economic recovery remained on track.
    "The import number...suggests there's a strong domestic economy," Ioan
Smith, director at Knight Capital, said.
    "People are looking for signs that China is turning into a consumption
    The Chinese data partly mitigated the subdued sentiment that has capped
European equity markets over the past week, as three separate U.S. jobs reports
came in worse than expected, cooling investor optimism about the health of the
world's largest economy.
    After the recent weak U.S. economic reports, investors were set to
scrutinise the minutes of last week's policy meeting of the U.S. Federal
Reserve, due for publication at 1800 GMT, for reassurance that the U.S. central
bank will keep the taps of its economic stimulus programme wide open.
    The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index has retreated 5.5 percent from
its March high as a financing crisis in Cyprus and, more recently, disappointing
U.S. economic data led some investors to take profit on a 13 percent rally since
    Thirty-minute charts showed the index was pulling back towards its April 5
low at 2,567 points, implying a 1.1 percent downside from Tuesday's close at
2,595.13 points. 
    "Yesterday, prices confirmed a bearish configuration, a rising wedge
pattern," Philippe Delabarre, a technical analyst at Paris-based firm Trading
Central, said.
    "Therefore, as long as 2,615 (the top of the recent rising wedge) is
resistance, look for 2,586 and 2,567."
 MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 623 GMT                                           
                                                  LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
 S&P 500                                      1,568.61        0.35 %      5.54
 NIKKEI                                      13,288.13        0.73 %     95.78
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                                531.01        0.41 %      2.15
 EUR/USD                                        1.3078       -0.02 %   -0.0003
 USD/JPY                                         99.06        0.04 %    0.0400
 10-YR US TSY YLD                                1.752            --      0.00
 10-YR BUND YLD                                  1.281            --      0.02
 SPOT GOLD                                   $1,588.30        0.23 %     $3.60
 US CRUDE                                       $93.85       -0.37 %     -0.35
  > Asian shares up on record Wall St close, China trade data  
  > Dow ends at another record close as cyclicals rally        
  > Nikkei advances further on BOJ stimulus                    
  > Longer-dated U.S. Treasuries drop pre-sale                 
  > Yen sticks close to 4-year low vs dollar                   
  > Gold gains on Japan policy; firm equities may weigh        
  > LME copper slips from two-week top; China data supports    
  > Brent steadies above $106 supported by China's growth      
    The firm reports a fall in full year zinc production, though output of other
metals and oil and gas picks up. 
    An experimental Roche drug that spurs the immune system to fight
cancer appeared to be safe and demonstrated anti-tumor activity against a
variety of cancers in a small early stage study, researchers said on Tuesday.
    The engineering conglomerate's businesses have "not become easier", Siemens
CEO Peter Loescher told newspaper Handelsblatt.
    "The short-cycle businesses, too, are lacking momentum," he was quoted as
    March traffic figures due at 1100 GMT.
    Lufthansa is studying the purchase of "several dozen" long-distance
twin-engined jets, Nico Buchholz, executive vice president of group fleet
management, told Reuters. "We will be focusing next on the 200-300 seat segment
with the aim of making a decision by the end of the year," he
    The carmaker and its Chinese joint ventures sold 598,100 cars in mainland
China and Hong Kong in the first three months of 2013, up 23.7 percent from a
year earlier. 
    MAN, the truckmaker controlled by Volkswagen, continues to be "in
a difficult situation," the head of MAN's commercial vehicles division, Anders
Nielsen, told daily Handelsblatt.    
    Weeks after approving $12 billion in plane orders, Lufthansa is
studying a further purchase of "several dozen" long-distance twin-engined jets
as it continues to modernize its fleet, Nico Buchholz, executive vice president
of group fleet management, said. 
    Separately it announced a benchmark sized 10-year senior unsecured notes via
Citigroup, Barclays, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, RBS. 
    The world's biggest cosmetics group is unlikely to be significantly affected
by the slowdown in China, which saw the country post its slowest GDP growth
since 1999 last year, its chief executive said. 
    Telco, the holding company that owns more than one fifth of Telecom Italia,
said on Tuesday it has had no contacts with Hutchison Whampoa over possible
integration between Telecom Italia and the Hong Kong-based group. 
   The holding company of the Italian telecoms group also denied any contacts on
the issue with Telecom Italia. 
    Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International RBIV.VI forecast on Wednesday that
provisions for bad loans would be steady in 2013 and its net interest income
would be flat in what it called "tense" markets.
    Outgoing Deutsche Bank finance expert Charlotte Jones will join
Swiss bank Credit Suisse as head of group finance and investor relations in
July, according to a memorandum seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

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