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Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen steady; oil stocks in focus
August 30, 2013 / 5:36 AM / 4 years ago

Europe Factors to Watch-Shares seen steady; oil stocks in focus

PARIS, Aug 30 (Reuters) - European stocks are expected to open little
changed on Friday following the previous session's rally, but heavyweight energy
shares could feel the pinch of a retreat in oil prices as a possible Western
military action on Syria appeared less likely.
    At 0628 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100,
for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were down 0.1 percent to
up 0.1 percent.
    The STOXX Europe 600 oil and gas sector index - which has gained 2.6
percent since the beginning of the week, surging along with oil prices as
strikes against the Syrian government seemed imminent - could be dragged lower
as oil slipped back.
    After jumping above $117 a barrel earlier this week, Brent futures 
slid toward $114 on Friday, with worries over supply disruptions in the Middle
East easing after Britain said it will not join any military action against
Syria. It was the latest setback to U.S.-led efforts to punish Damascus over the
use of chemical weapons against civilians. 
    "The rally in energy stocks this week looks excessive, so I expect to see
people pulling the trigger to cash in the gains ahead of the weekend," a
Paris-based equity and exchanged-traded funds trader said.
    "This was a short-term spike, and now we're back to longer-term concerns
about excess supply."
    Royal Dutch Shell , BP and Total feature
among Europe's biggest blue chips.
    The FTSEurofirst 300 gained 0.7 percent on Thursday at 1,207.05
points, bouncing back after falls of some 2 percent over the last two days. The
benchmark index is still down 1.4 percent on the week.
    On the earnings front, L'Oreal will be in the spotlight after the
world's biggest cosmetics maker posted improved margins and a nearly 8 percent
rise in first-half operating profit. Les Echos newspaper reported that its Chief
Executive Jean-Paul Agon said the group will be ready to buy Nestle's 
29.5 percent stake in the cosmetics giant next year. 
    With Europe's earnings season drawing to an end, about 55 percent of STOXX
Europe 600 companies have met or beaten analysts forecasts, Thomson
Reuters Starmine data shows, the best relative earnings season since the third
quarter of 2012.
                                         LAST  PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             1,638.17    0.2 %     3.21
 NIKKEI                             13,388.86  -0.53 %   -70.85
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       506.02   0.66 %     3.34
 EUR/USD                               1.3243   0.02 %   0.0003
 USD/JPY                                98.16  -0.18 %  -0.1800
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.771       --     0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         1.852       --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,406.74  -0.06 %   -$0.90
 US CRUDE                             $107.82   -0.9 %    -0.98
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares mostly rise as Syria action on hold 
  > Wall St rises on economy, but Syria concerns limit gains 
  > Oil shares lead Nikkei down as Syria concerns abate 
  > FOREX-Dollar steals show on upbeat US data, Japan also surprises 
  > Gold heads for 2nd monthly rise; but Syria, stimulus concerns linger 
  > METALS-Copper prices on track for biggest monthly gain in 11 months 
  > Brent falls toward $114 as Syria concerns ease 
    L'Oreal posted improved margins and a nearly 8 percent rise in first-half
operating profit, despite slightly weaker demand in major markets such as the
United States. The cosmetic group said it will be ready to buy Nestle's 29.5
percent stake in L'Oreal next year, French daily Les Echos reported, citing
L'Oreal Chief Executive Jean-Paul Agon. 
    The French media group posted a 23 percent rise in first-half operating
profit at its media business and stuck to its full-year earnings growth target.
    The Spanish builder on Thursday posted a net profit of 357 million euros
($472.12 million) in the first half of 2013, a comeback from losses a year ago,
although core profit (EBITDA) fell 2.1 percent to 1.545 billion euros. 
    The French luxury group posted a 14 percent rise in first-half operating
profit, thanks to strong demand for its leather and silk accessories. 
    The Italian luxury shoemaker said core earnings rose 26 percent in the first
half as Asian shoppers and well-heeled tourists in Europe snapped up its
    The Swedish truck group, which sells under its own name and Renault, lost
market share in Europe in the first half of the year compared to the same period
a year earlier, according to business daily Dagens Industri. The group's market
share fell 1.3 percent in the first six months of 2013, DI said, citing
unspecified market statistics. It said Volvo Group had a market share of 24.8
percent in Europe in the first half of 2013. The paper said Scania SCVb.ST had
raised its market share to 14.5 percent from 13 percent. 
    The Italian carmaker's unions expect an update from Chief Executive Sergio
Marchionne on long-delayed investments at its flagship Mirafiori factory at a
meeting in September, union sources said on Thursday. 
    EU telecoms chief Neelie Kroes has scrapped a draft proposal to cut
wholesale roaming fees by as much as 90 percent, a European Commission document
seen by Reuters showed, following criticism from major telecom companies.
    Allianz is planning to outsource a big part of its data processing to an
external service provider and is in negotiations with IBM and Computer
Sciences Corporation (CSC), with CSC being the frontrunner, Sueddeutsche
Zeitung reported on Thursday, citing no sources. The paper said the deal could
have a volume of significantly more than 500 million euros ($667 million).
    Business at Frankfurt airport was "very good" in August, while reservations
for the winter were modestly positive, the airport operator's Chief Executive
Stefan Schulte told German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung.

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