Europe Factors to Watch-Futures edge down; earnings in focus

jueves 12 de febrero de 2015 03:45 GYT
 

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - European stocks were set for a slightly lower open
on Thursday, with investors focusing on a big batch of quarterly results from
companies including EDF, Rio Tinto and Credit Suisse.
    Ukraine was also in the spotlight, with President Petro Poroshenko said
certain conditions set by Russia at talks in Minsk on the Ukraine conflict were
unacceptable but there still was hope, Russian news agency reported on Thursday.
 
    At 0744 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were down 0.1-0.3 percent in volatile trading.
    Rio Tinto handed shareholders a $2 billion capital return on top of a higher
than expected dividend on Thursday, despite reporting its worst half-year profit
in two years. 
    Swiss bank Credit Suisse outlined measures to deal with the strong Swiss
franc, as fourth-quarter net profit beat analysts' estimates. 
    French bank Societe Generale said it would cut its exposure to
Russia in the face of mounting loan loss provisions as it posted a nearly
three-fold increase in fourth-quarter net profit. 
    French oil major Total took a $6.5 billion writedown in the fourth
quarter on Canadian oil sands, U.S. shale gas and European refining assets as
the collapse in crude oil prices sent net adjusted profits down 10 percent.
 
    Greece will remained in focus. In seven hours of crisis talks in Brussels
that ended after midnight, euro zone finance ministers were unable to agree even
a joint statement on the next procedural steps. Both sides played down the
setback, insisting there had been no rupture. 
            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0744 GMT: 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,068.53       0 %    -0.06
 NIKKEI                              17979.72    1.85 %   327.04
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       473.88    -0.5 %    -2.37
 EUR/USD                                1.133   -0.01 %  -0.0001
 USD/JPY                               120.23   -0.18 %  -0.2200
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.986        --     0.00
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.347        --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,222.05    0.28 %    $3.39
 US CRUDE                              $49.80    1.97 %     0.96
 
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-STOCKS DIPS AS GREEK UNCERTAINTY SAPS CONFIDENCE 
  > US STOCKS-U.S. STOCK FUTURES RISE ON GREEK AGREEMENT AFTER S&P ENDS FLAT 
  > NIKKEI CLOSES AT HIGHEST LEVEL IN 7-1/2 YRS AS WEAK YEN LIFTS EXPORTERS 
  > EURO RALLY FADES AS GREEK DEAL STILL UP IN THE AIR 
  > PRECIOUS-GOLD TICKS UP FROM 5-WK LOW AS GREEK DEBT DRAMA UNFOLDS 
  > METALS-LONDON COPPER STEADY AMID GREECE JITTERS; CHINA EYED 
  > BRENT HOLDS NEAR $55 AFTER BIG FALL ON RECORD U.S. CRUDE STOCKS 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    RIO TINTO 
    Global miner handed shareholders a $2 billion capital return on top of a
higher than expected dividend on Thursday, despite reporting its worst half-year
profit in two years. 
    
    CREDIT SUISSE 
    The Swiss bank said on Thursday it is introducing a number of measures to
deal with the strong Swiss franc, as fourth-quarter net profit beat analysts'
estimates. 
    
    SOCIETE GENERALE 
    The French bank said on Thursday it would cut its exposure to Russia in the
face of mounting loan loss provisions as it posted a nearly three-fold increase
in fourth-quarter net profit. 
    
    TOTAL 
    The French oil major took a $6.5 billion writedown in the fourth quarter on
Canadian oil sands, U.S. shale gas and European refining assets as the collapse
in crude oil prices sent net adjusted profits down 10 percent. 
    
    ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP 
    The group said it would keep its dividend stable at 17 Swiss francs per
share for 2014 after its full-year net profit declined less than expected.
 
    
    PERNOD RICARD 
    French spirits group on Thursday posted a flat first-half operating profit
as a crackdown on extravagant spending in China and a struggling vodka market in
the United States, its biggest market prevented earnings growth. 
    
    EDF 
    French power utility said on Thursday net income rose 5.2 percent to 3.70
billion euros as output at its nuclear plants exceeded forecasts and despite a
decline in power consumption due to mild weather. 
    
    RENAULT 
    French carmaker said on Thursday it was targeting further sales and earnings
improvement this year after strong European deliveries of no-frills cars and
mini-SUVs more than tripled full-year profit. 
    
    IMPERIAL TOBACCO GROUP 
    The firm reported a 4 percent decline in tobacco volumes for its fiscal
first quarter, in line with the broader market, and stood by its outlook for the
year. 
    
    BT 
    BT kicked off its 1 billion pound placing on Thursday, saying it would
launch an underwritten accelerated bookbuilding process immediately to fund its
12.5 billion pound ($19 billion) acquisition of mobile operator EE. 
    
    HERMES 
    French luxury goods maker on Thursday demonstrated further resilience to the
industry downturn by posting a 9.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales at
constant exchange rates, slightly below some analysts' expectations. 
    
    BILFINGER 
    Ailing German industrial services firm just met its 2014 guidance with a 35
percent drop in operating profit and said it would put its offshore and marine
units up for sale. 
    
    BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA 
    The bank has raised the size of a planned capital increase to 3 billion
euros to meet tough capital targets set by the European Central Bank after
reporting its fourth consecutive annual loss. 
    
    BANCO POPOLARE 
    Banco Popolare posted a larger-than-expected loss of 1.95 billion euros in
2014 hit by 3.56 billion euros in loan loss provisions as it took into account
the outcome of last year's health check of banking assets across the euro zone.
 
    
    UBI BANCA 
    Italian tax police carried out a fresh round of searches in the offices of
Italy's fifth-largest bank UBI Banca on Wednesday as part of a probe into
alleged obstruction of regulators, two sources and a judicial document said.
 
    
    UNICREDIT 
    The Italian bank has signed a deal with U.S. investment firm Fortress
Investment Group to sell its UCCMB bad loan management unit together
with a pool of non-performing loans with a gross book value of 2.4 billion euros
($2.7 billion). 
    
    PUBLICIS 
    France's promised business would pick up in the second half of this year as
the advertising agency recovered from a tough 2014 marred by a failed
mega-merger with U.S. peer Omnicom. 
    
    COMMERZBANK 
    The bank posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit of 77
million euros ($87 million) as a falloff in loan loss provisions compensated for
weaker revenue and Chief Executive Martin Blessing predicted a difficult year
ahead. 
    
    AKZONOBEL 
    Dutch paint and chemicals company AkzoNobel AKZO.AS said on Thursday it was
on track to meet its targets for this year as it posted fourth-quarter earnings
figures that exceeded analyst expectations. 
    
    LUFTHANSA 
    Pilots at Lufthansa's budget airline, Germanwings, started a
two-day strike on Thursday as German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC)
seeks to put pressure on management in a long-running row over pay and
conditions. 
    
    KBC 
    The Belgian financial group on Thursday posted a better-than-expected
adjusted net profit for the final quarter of 2014 as interest income expanded
and loans and deposits grew in its main markets. 
    
    ZALANDO 
    Europe's largest online fashion retailer reported fourth-quarter core profit
that jumped about fivefold as it reined in marketing spending and grew sales.
    
    
    LEGRAND 
    Power switch and socket maker said difficult prospects in Russia would drag
on 2015 revenue growth as it delivered full-year profit that undershot
expectations. 
    
    
    

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)