Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to inch up; Greece in focus

miércoles 11 de febrero de 2015 03:30 GYT
 

PARIS, Feb 11 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to inch higher on
Wednesday, with Greece remaining at the forefront of investors' minds ahead of
euro zone meetings to discuss the country's debt crisis.
    At 0729 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were up 0.1-0.3 percent.
    Late on Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras comfortably won a
confidence vote on his plan to cancel a deeply unpopular bailout programme.
 
    European stocks rallied on Tuesday, boosted by several press reports
pointing to a possible debt agreement between Greece and its international
creditors, with one report citing a six-month debt extension. However, German
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and a Commission spokeswoman later dismissed
the media reports. 
    Euro zone finance ministers will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss how
to proceed with financial support for Greece, in preparation for talks among
European Union leaders on the issue on Thursday. The meeting is set to start at
1630 GMT in Brussels. 
    "So far, it seems optimism around the meeting has already managed to inspire
some buying, with our current calls for the major European bourses suggesting
we'll see a firmer open," IG market strategist Stan Shamu wrote in a note.
    Europe's banking sector will be in focus after ING Group said it
will resume paying a dividend in 2015, the first time in seven years.
    Swiss bank Vontobel said on Wednesday it can absorb currency swings
resulting from Switzerland's central bank removing a cap on the franc against
the euro, as it posted full-year profit slightly below expectations. 
    
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0729 GMT: 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,068.59    1.07 %    21.85
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       476.83   -0.29 %    -1.38
 EUR/USD                               1.1307   -0.11 %  -0.0012
 USD/JPY                               119.69    0.23 %   0.2800
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.979        --    -0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.360        --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,237.65    0.31 %    $3.85
 US CRUDE                              $50.59    1.14 %     0.57
 
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-STOCKS, CURRENCIES WARY OF GREEK CONFUSION 
  > WALL ST RISES ON GREEK DEAL HOPES; APPLE HITS RECORD 
  > TREASURIES-PRICES EASE ON RATE OUTLOOK; 10-YEAR YIELDS NEAR 2 PCT 
  > DOLLAR SUPPORTED BY HIGHER YIELDS, EURO IN FOCUS BEFORE EU TALKS 
  > GOLD EDGES UP AS INVESTORS EYE GREEK DEBT CRISIS 
  > LONDON COPPER STEADIES AS OIL LENDS SUPPORT; CHINA EYED 
  > BRENT HOLDS ABOVE $56 AFTER U.S. CRUDE STOCKS RISE LESS THAN EXPECTED 
   
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    ING 
    ING Group on Wednesday posted numbers that missed analysts' expectations for
fourth quarter pre-tax profit and said it will resume paying a dividend in 2015
- the first time in seven years. 
    
    NORSK HYDRO 
    The group, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, posted operating
earnings significantly above forecasts on Wednesday, thanks to higher metals
prices and the strong U.S. dollar, leading it to raise its dividend. 
    
    VONTOBEL HOLDING 
    The Swiss bank said on Wednesday it can absorb currency swings resulting
from Switzerland's central bank removing a cap on the franc against the euro, as
it posted full-year profit slightly below expectations. 
    
    INTESA SANPAOLO, POPOLARE DI MILANO 
    Italian banks set aside less cash than expected to cover for soured loans in
the last quarter of last year, signalling they might be starting to see the
light at the end of the tunnel as Italy's economy is set to emerge from a
recession.
    Italy's biggest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, kicked off the reporting
season by raising its shareholder payout and Popolare di Milano also returned to
paying a dividend for the first time in four years. 
    
    TULLOW OIL 
    Africa-focused oil and gas explorer Tullow Oil has reported a $ 2billion
pre-tax loss, its first in 15 years, and has scrapped a dividend payment as it
deals with the consequences of fallen oil prices. 
    
    RECKITT BECNKISER 
    The British consumer goods maker said 2015 would be similar to last year,
when sales were hurt by a slowdown in emerging markets. 
    
    ARM 
    British chip designer ARM Holdings posted a 25 percent rise in
fourth-quarter profit, ahead of expectations, helped by a strong year end in
companies licensing its technology and growing royalty revenues from customers
such as Apple. 
    
    GLENCORE 
    Miner and commodities trader Glencore plans to divest its stake in platinum
producer Lonmin and to cut capital expenditure this year in response to market
volatility, it said on Wednesday as it reported increased copper and coal
output. 
    
    THOMAS COOK 
    British holiday company Thomas Cook Group reported a narrower first-quarter
seasonal loss and said it was on track to grow this year despite facing tough
trading conditions in mainland Europe. 
    
    TELENOR 
    Norwegian mobile phone operator reported fourth-quarter earnings below
expectations on Wednesday and proposed a dividend below market forecasts even as
it predicted solid growth for 2015. 
    
    ORIFLAME 
    The Swedish cosmetics maker reported fourth quarter earnings slightly higher
than a recent profit warning on Wednesday, and said year to date sales rose 1
percent. 
    
    UNIPOL 
    Italy's Unipol, the holding company that controls insurer UnipolSai, on
Wednesday reported a full-year consolidated net profit of 505 million euros
($571 million), up from 188 million the previous year. 
    
    BBVA 
    Spanish bank BBVA is to strengthen its capital base through issuing
contingent convertible bonds worth 1.5 billion euros ($1.70 billion). 
    
    LUFTHANSA 
    Pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) called a two-day strike at
Lufthansa's Germanwings short-haul budget airline as a long-running row over
retirement benefits and the airline's low-cost expansion plans entered a new
year. 
    
    AIRBUS GROUP 
    South Korea's Asiana Airlines Inc said it would buy 25
aeroplanes from Airbus for 3.1 trillion won ($2.83 billion) over seven years
through to 2025. 
    
    DSM 
    The Dutch life sciences, materials and nutrition company said it expected
2015 earnings to be higher than last year's despite low Vitamin E prices and
negative currency effects, after posting fourth-quarter earnings and sales
slightly ahead of estimates. 
    
    EIFFAGE 
    The French construction and concessions company posted weaker 2014 sales,
which it mostly blamed on falling orders in the public works sector due to
difficult economic times in France. 
    
    STOREBRAND 
    The Norwegian insurer reported fourth-quarter group profit below forecasts
on Wednesday and reiterated it will not pay a dividend for 2014. 
    
    TOTAL, VALLOUREC 
    A group of French companies have joined forces to change perceptions of the
shale energy sector in the face of the country's long-standing ban on hydraulic
fracking despite France having to import nearly all its oil and gas.
 
    
    ELIS 
    French industrial laundry company, 83 percent owned by investment group
Eurazeo, set the price for its initial public offering at the bottom
of the range, implying a market capitalisation of 1.48 billion euros ($1.68
billion). 
    
    GDF SUEZ 
    French start-up Sigfox has raised 100 million euros from seven heavy-weight
investors to help it build new networks globally to connect everything from
washing machines to smart metres to the Internet, sources said. Investors
include Spain's Telefonica and GDF Suez, the sources said.
 
    
    ORPEA 
    The care home operator said it was targeting 2015 revenue of 2.31 billion
euros, up 18.6 percent, after 2014 sales rose 21.2 percent to 1.95 billion.
 
    
    BIC 
    The maker of pens and lighters said 2014 net sales rose 4.9 percent on a
comparable basis to 1.979 billion euros. Net income rose 8.5 percent to 262.1
million. It forecast a 4-5 percent rise in 2015 comparable group net sales.
 
    

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Alistair Smout)