July 18, 2013 / 5:26 AM / 5 years ago

European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower; focus on earnings

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - European shares were set to open marginally
lower on Thursday, with some disappointing earnings reports hurting sentiment
and prompting investors to trade cautiously before the release of more results
from major companies. 
    Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson posted second-quarter
operating profit well below expectations on Thursday, while Finnish ship and
power plant engine maker Wartsila reported an unexpected fall in
second-quarter operating profit.  
    European technology stocks might come under pressure after the world's
biggest chipmaker Intel cut its full-year revenue forecast late on
Wednesday and said it was scaling back capital spending following weaker
personal computer sales and economic weakness in China. 
    Germany's SAP AG also blamed slowing economic growth in China as
it trimmed on Thursday its outlook for 2013 software revenue. 
    The focus will be on results from major European and U.S. companies
including Nokia, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft and Google
    "We have seen some earnings disappointments, which could be used as an
excuse to take some profits and bring the overall market lower. This is probably
what we are going to see this morning," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at
BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said.
    At 0647 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100
, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.2 to 0.3 percent
    The FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,198.71
points on Wednesday, helped by reassurances from the U.S. Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke that the central bank will be flexible in its
stimulus-trimming plans.
    The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 closed 0.6 percent
higher at 2,681.88 points in the previous session just below some strong
resistance levels.
    The rally stalled at its uptrend line joining lows of mid-2012 and April
2013 and near its 100-day moving average at 2,683.75 points. A clear break of
the 100-day average might push the index higher towards its 50-day moving
average at around 2,702.
    The index is expected to find support at around 2,664, its 23.6 percent
retracement of a rally from June last year to a high in May 2013.
     MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0647 GMT                                      
                                                     LAST    PCT CHG   NET CHG
     S&P 500                                     1,680.91     0.28 %      4.65
     NIKKEI                                     14,808.50     1.32 %    193.46
     MSCI ASIA EX-JP                               516.05    -0.49 %     -2.55
     EUR/USD                                       1.3105    -0.14 %   -0.0019
     USD/JPY                                       100.19     0.62 %    0.6200
     10-YR US TSY YLD                               2.480         --     -0.01
     10-YR BUND YLD                                 1.528         --     -0.01
     SPOT GOLD                                  $1,277.51     0.17 %     $2.12
     US CRUDE                                     $106.39    -0.08 %     -0.09
  > Asian shares fall on China, Intel; dollar steady after Bernanke 
  > Wall St gets a lift from Bernanke's flexible Fed view                 
  > Nikkei hits 8-week high after Bernanke says QE timing is flexible     
  > U.S. yields fall as Bernanke curbs bond-buying worries              
  > Dollar edges up after Bernanke comments, seen staying firm          
  > Gold ticks up, Fed keeps up pressure with stimulus view             
  > Copper hits one-week low on Fed stimulus pullback plans            
  > Brent slips as dollar weighs, stays above $108 on US stocks draw     
    The mobile telecom gear maker posted second-quarter operating profit well
below expectations on Thursday hurt by lower sales, a weaker than expected
margin and currency headwinds. For more on the company, click on 
    SAP AG 
    Germany's SAP on Thursday trimmed its outlook for 2013 software revenue,
blaming slowing economic growth in China and customers' move to cloud-based
    The Finnish ship and power plant engine maker reported an unexpected fall in
second-quarter operating profit as shipping companies held off ordering new
    Nokia is expected to report at 1000 GMT a steep fall in quarterly handset
sales, led by a 24 percent drop in shipments of basic mobile phones to 56
million units, according to a Reuters poll. 
    The world's third-biggest advertising agency saw sales growth accelerate
sharply to 5 percent in the second quarter, helped by robust demand for online
marketing services and strength in North America.  
    The company said its performance improvement programme was on track to be
completed in 2013, delivering 500 million euros EBITDA benefit a year.
    Europe's largest retailer said sales improved at its core French
hypermarkets and in China in the second quarter, further reassuring investors
about head Georges Plassat's ability to revive the group. 
    The French luxury group posted a 16 percent rise in second-quarter sales at
constant exchange rates and forecast full-year revenue could slightly exceed its
mid-term growth target of 10 percent. 
    The spirits maker said first-quarter organic sales fell 2.3 percent to 263.7
million euros because of one-off factors in China that hurt cognac demand.
    Actelion raised its full-year guidance on Thursday and said it expected to
return to profit growth this year as benefits from its cost-savings programme
kick in faster than expected and sales of its marketed products hold up.
    The Nordic region's biggest builder posted a slightly higher second-quarter
operating profit than expected and said competition on its markets was intense,
mainly from new international competitors. 
    One of the world's biggest aluminium makers said it expected solid demand
growth and weak prices this year as it reported a smaller-than-expected drop in
April-June core earnings. 
    Nordic and emerging market telecoms group Tele2 on Thursday posted
second-quarter core earnings in line with forecasts as the Swedish mobile market
continued to shine.
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