April 22, 2013 / 5:51 AM / in 5 years

European Factors to Watch-Shares to gain, focus on earnings

LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - European shares were expected to rise for a
second straight session on Monday, mirroring gains on Wall Street and in Asia,
with recent encouraging results from some major firms raising optimism for the
earnings season.
    At 0634 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100
, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.4 to 0.8 percent
higher. On Friday, the FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.5 percent.
    "With the economic calendar looking a little light this week, corporate
earnings season is likely to drive market sentiment again," Alpari said in a
    "There are a number of major companies reporting first quarter earnings this
week, including Apple, Amazon and Exxon Mobil. By far,
the most closely watched earnings will come from Caterpillar."
    According to Thomson Reuters StarMine Data, out of the 21 percent companies
on the S&P 500 index that have declared their results so far, 72 percent
have met or beaten expectations, while 28 percent have missed.
    In Europe, only 8 percent of the STOXX Europe 600 companies have
reported first quarter results, but 57 percent of them have met or beaten
analysts' forecasts.
    Philips, the Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliances
group, reported slightly better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Monday,
while Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said underlying operating
profit had increased 13.7 percent in the first quarter, driven by improved
margins in both the Unites States and Belgium.  
    European shares are expected to track gains in other major markets. Japan's
Nikkei Average rose 1.9 percent to a near five-year high on Monday, with
exporters surging as the yen weakened after the Group of 20 leading economies
stopped short of criticising Japan's sweeping monetary easing. On Friday, U.S.
shares gained 0.1 to 1.3 percent.
    "For now, whilst some selective profit taking appears sensible, investors
are generally holding their nerve," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves
Lansdown, said.
    "Soft commodity prices provide a potential early warning signal, although
corporate earnings have to date broadly supported. In the near term, the U.S.
housing market is likely to come back into sharp focus, a crucial positive for
investors over recent months."
    Italian shares, which surged 1.8 percent on the previous session,
are expected to be in focus. The re-election of Italy's president has raised the
prospect of an end to the two months of political stalemate that have followed
the general election, with a move to form a government foreseen within days.
     MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0635 GMT                                     
                                                    LAST    PCT CHG   NET CHG
     S&P 500                                    1,555.25     0.88 %     13.64
     NIKKEI                                    13,568.37     1.89 %    251.89
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP                              539.01      0.3 %      1.60
     EUR/USD                                      1.3054     -0.2 %   -0.0026
     USD/JPY                                       99.72    -0.05 %   -0.0500
     10-YR US TSY YLD                              1.722         --      0.02
     10-YR BUND YLD                                1.259         --      0.01
     SPOT GOLD                                 $1,419.89     1.14 %    $16.04
     US CRUDE                                     $88.20     0.22 %      0.19
    * Nikkei bulls charge in as dollar/yen eyes 100              
    * Nikkei jumps 1.9 pct to nearly 5-yr high                   
    * Wall St gets Google lift in S&P's worst since November     
    * Yen bears in driving seat after G20, USD/JPY targets 100   
    * Gold jumps 1 percent, ETFs holdings at 3-yr low            
    * London copper under $7,000 on global growth worries        
    * Brent hovers around $100, global econ worries cap gains    
    * Treasuries-Prices dip as investors buy stocks              
    Automation technology group ABB said it was buying renewable
energy firm Power-One Inc for around $1 billion equity value to step up its
presence in the growing market of solar inverters that transform solar power
into electricity. 
    The Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said on Monday underlying operating
profit had increased 13.7 percent in the first quarter, driven by improved
margins in both the Unites States and Belgium. 
    Credit Suisse AG has stopped voluntarily disclosing the amount of
trading volume on its Crossfinder platform, the world's largest dark pool,
highlighting the debate over the transparency of U.S. equities markets. For
more, click on 
    Lufthansa passengers faced chaos on Monday after the airline cancelled
virtually all of its flights in Germany due to a strike by staff over pay.
    The Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliances group on Monday
reported slightly better-than-expected first-quarter profit and said it still
sees a weak first half, especially in the United States and Europe.
    Commerzbank said it won shareholder approval for its planned capital
increase in a vote at Friday's annual general meeting. 
    The Norwegian fertiliser-maker reported first-quarter results that were
slightly weaker than expected. It reported core earnings of 4.09 billion
Norwegian crowns ($704 million), compared to the market's forecast for 4.17
billion crowns. 
    The Mercedes-Benz division expects higher car sales in China this year, the
head of Daimler's China operations said at the Shanghai auto show.
    VW's Audi will speed up launches of high-performance cars such as the
107,900 euro ($141,100) RS6 Avant estate to boost profit. 
    Airbus parent EADS has signaled that shareholders can expect higher
dividends in coming years as Europe's largest aerospace group moves out of a
phase of high investments and leaves behind some problems of the past.
    The world's biggest luxury carmaker said it is targeting "upper
single-digit" sales growth in China this year, a senior company official said on
    HSBC is reviewing its operations in Iraq while continuing to invest in Egypt
despite a challenging near-term environment there, the bank's regional chief
executive said on Sunday. 
    The Kazakh miner firm has been hit by the resignation of three senior
executives and a fourth taking a leave of absence, the Financial Times reported,
saying this was the latest in a list of "long-running coporate governance
    The Guardian reported that Glencore traded with a firm which supplies Iran's
nuclear programme, though the company said it ceased working with the firm
before EU sanctions on the country kicked in. 

    Brazilian steelmaker CSN has resubmitted a bid for assets
belonging to Germany's ThyssenKrupp, a source familiar with the subject told
Reuters on Friday. 
    Board member Stefan Oschmann told weekly Focus that he expects sales of
Merck's cancer drug Erbitux - one of the group's two best-selling prescription
drugs - to be stable or increase slightly in 2013. Related news 
    New shares of nationalised bank Bankia begin to trade after
reverse split that created one share out of every 100.

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