July 24, 2013 / 5:30 AM / in 4 years

Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to inch up before economic surveys

PARIS, July 24 (Reuters) - European stocks are set to inch higher on
Wednesday after strong results from U.S. tech giant Apple and as
investors bet European manufacturing and services PMI surveys due in the morning
will show a slight improvement.
    Gains could be limited, however, after data showed activity in China's
manufacturing sector slowed to an 11-month low as new orders faltered and the
jobs market weakened. 
    China's data, which signals the economy is still losing momentum, sent metal
prices lower, which could drag European mining shares. 
    At 0631 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100,
for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were flat to up 0.2
    Quarterly sales of Apple's iPhone beat estimates after U.S. shipments jumped
51 percent, boosting the company's shares by 5 percent in after-hours trade.
    On the data front, investors awaited French and German manufacturing and
services PMI surveys, due at 0658 GMT and for the French data and 0728 GMT for
the German data, expected to show a slight improvement in economic activity,
although the manufacturing readings are still expected to come in below 50,
which separates expansion from contraction.
    Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria warned of downside risks if the data
misses forecast.
    "If the weak Chinese data does turn out to be a prophecy of what to expect
later today, we could see some sharp moves lower as traders take it as a cue to
book profits," Sudaria wrote in a note.
    The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index has gained 9
percent since a low hit in late June, while Wall Street's S&P 500 hit
record closing highs earlier this week.
    Valerie Gastaldy, head of Paris-based technical analysis firm Day By Day,
said the rally should soon lose steam, with charts starting to show intraday
reversal signals.
    "Indexes are toppish. It's probably too late to buy now, and investors
should buy 'put' options instead," she said.
    Company results were mixed on Wednesday, with German carmaker Daimler saying
net profit doubled, while French power and transport engineering firm Alstom
said order intake declined by almost a third in the first quarter. 
                                         LAST  PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             1,692.39  -0.19 %    -3.14
 NIKKEI                             14,731.28  -0.32 %   -47.23
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       525.51   0.07 %     0.39
 EUR/USD                               1.3193  -0.21 %  -0.0028
 USD/JPY                                99.90    0.5 %   0.5000
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.522       --     0.02
 10-YR BUND YLD                         1.555       --     0.00
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,342.34  -0.38 %   -$5.15
 US CRUDE                             $107.16  -0.07 %    -0.07
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks waver after China PMI disappoints 
  > US STOCKS-S&P 500 dips and Dow gains on UTX; Apple up late 
  > Nikkei edges down on strong yen; Nidec, Apple-related shares shine 
  > FOREX-Dollar edges higher, Aussie sags on China growth worries 
  > PRECIOUS-Gold eases after four-day rally, firm dollar hurts 
  > METALS-Copper falls from one-month top after China data 
  > Brent slips as China PMI falls, holds above $108 on US oil draws 
    German luxury carmaker Daimler said on Wednesday its net profit after
minorities doubled to 2.83 billion euros ($3.74 billion) in the second quarter
thanks to a significant one-off gain from the revaluation and sale of its EADS
    Power and transport engineering firm Alstom said order intake declined by
almost a third in the first quarter as a challenging environment led to fewer
big contracts. 
    The world's largest maker of crop chemicals said it expects underlying sales
growth to pick up pace in the second-half after a cold wet spring hit sales in
the first six months of the year. 
    World number two truck maker Volvo posted a smaller than expected fall in
second-quarter earnings and a healthy rise in orders as demand firmed across
nearly all its main markets. 
    French voucher and prepaid card provider Edenred posted a 7.7 percent rise
in like-for-like first-half operating profit on Wednesday and forecast an
increase in income for the full year. 
    Europe's biggest independent mobile phone retailer reiterated its outlook on
Wednesday after posting a better-than-expected start to the year with first
quarter organic sales up 10.6 percent. 
    British chip designer beat expectations for its second quarter with a 30
percent rise in adjusted pretax profit on Wednesday, helped by demand for its
latest processors and graphics technology. 
    Finnish stainless steelmaker Outokumpu warned its third-quarter underlying
loss would be bigger than in the second quarter due to low nickel prices, while
analysts had expected an improvement. 
    German aircraft engine maker slashed its 2013 profit outlook on weak demand
at its spare parts business as it reported worse than expected second-quarter
    German sports apparel group Puma SE reported second quarter
results below expectations, hurt by falling sales in China and southern Europe
as well as the effects of the weak yen in Japan, its second-biggest market.

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