Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to halt rebound; Carlsberg eyed
PARIS, Aug 20 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to dip on Wednesday, halting a sharp two-day rally as investors take a breather ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's minutes of its July policy meeting which could give insight on the outlook for interest rates. The impact from tensions between the West and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine were visible again on the earnings front on Wednesday, with Danish brewer Carlsberg saying its operating profit would decline compared to 2013 due to deteriorating conditions in its Eastern Europe segment including Russia, which contributes a large portion of its profits. Rival Heineken posted better-than-expected first-half operating profit, as it sped up cost savings and grew volumes in all regions except for Central and Eastern Europe, but said it expected the growth to slow in the second half. Fighting in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, a major energy supplier to Europe, have muddied the forecasts of a number of multinationals including Henkel, Adidas and Rheinmetall. At 0625 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were flat to down 0.1 percent. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares has gained 1.8 percent so far this week, as worries over tensions between Russia and Ukraine abated. The Fed is set to releases the minutes from its July 29-30 policy meeting at 1800 GMT. The minutes could shed further light on how the central bank plans to eventually exit from its extraordinary monetary stimulus, and could also show whether there is a growing divide between 'hawks' and 'doves' over when to raise interest rates. Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v) Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0625 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,981.60 0.5 % 9.86 NIKKEI 15454.45 0.03 % 4.66 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 512.71 0.11 % 0.54 EUR/USD 1.3304 -0.11 % -0.0015 USD/JPY 103.17 0.27 % 0.2800 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.405 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 1.000 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,295.29 0 % $0.00 US CRUDE $95.09 0.65 % 0.61 > GLOBAL MARKETS-STOCKS STEADY AFTER U.S. DATA, DOLLAR HOLDS GAINS > US STOCKS-WALL ST EXTENDS RALLY, LIFTED BY APPLE AND HOME DEPOT > NIKKEI RISES FOR 8TH DAY AS STRONG U.S. DATA, WEAK YEN BOOST MOOD > FOREX-DOLLAR HITS 11-MONTH HIGH, STAYS FIRM AFTER SOLID HOUSING DATA > GOLD STRUGGLES BELOW $1,300 ON STRONG U.S. DATA, HIGHER STOCKS > METALS-SHANGHAI COPPER EDGES LOWER TOWARDS KEY CHART LEVEL > BRENT HOLDS NEAR 14-MONTH LOW ON PLENTIFUL SUPPLY COMPANY NEWS: HEINEKEN The world's third largest brewer, on Wednesday reported better-than-expected first half operating profit, as it sped up cost savings and grew volumes in all regions except for Central and Eastern Europe. CARLSBERG The Danish brewer said its 2014 operating profit would decline compared to 2013 due to deteriorating conditions in its Eastern Europe segment including Russia, which contributes a large portion of its profits. GLENCORE Commodity trader and miner Glencore said on Wednesday it will launch a share buy-back programme of up to $1 billion as it posted a forecast-beating 8 percent rise in first-half core profit. BALFOUR BEATTY, CARILLION British engineering company Balfour Beatty on Wednesday rejected Carillion's third merger proposal, saying it failed to address its concerns over risks to the business. STANDARD CHARTERED British banking company Standard Chartered Plc will pay a $300 million penalty and suspend or exit some important businesses after failing to weed out risky transactions that could be linked to money laundering. READSOFT Lexmark International Technology has raised its bid for Sweden's ReadSoft to 57 Swedish crowns ($8.29) per share and said it holds 52.2 percent of voting rights in the company after buying shares from Readsoft's founders Lars Appelstal and Jan Andersson at that price. SANOFI The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company's Cerdelga drug to treat patients with type 1 Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder. ATOS, BULL Atos pronounced its friendly takeover offer for fellow IT services firm Bull successful having won control of 84.25 percent of the company's shares earlier this month, and said Atos chief Thierry Breton would take over as Bull's chairman ahead of its full integration into Atos. The deal was announced in May. SWISSCOM Telecoms group Swisscom nudged up its guidance for full-year core profit, as a rising number of customers offset falling prices and helped it post better-than-expected profit in the second quarter. NOVARTIS Novartis said it had signed an a deal to exclusively license its experimental drugs for tuberculosis (TB) to the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. ANTOFAGASTA The Chilean miner named insider Diego Hernandez as its new chief executive to take over the running of the company from Jean-Paul Luksic, who retains his role as chairman but in a non-executive capacity. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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