Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to rise; GDP figures in focus

viernes 13 de febrero de 2015 03:26 GYT
 

PARIS, Feb 13 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Friday, adding
to the previous session's gains, helped by positive growth figures for the euro
zone.
    Data from Germany showed the economy grew by 0.7 percent in the fourth
quarter of 2014, much stronger than expected, with domestic demand lifting
Europe's largest economy out of its mid-year lull and boosting growth for the
whole of last year to 1.6 percent. 
    Data from France showed the economy grew by 0.1 percent in the fourth
quarter of 2014, meeting analysts' expectations. The result meant the euro
zone's second-largest economy grew by 0.4 percent over the course of last year,
matching the government's estimate for full-year growth. 
    At 0720 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were 0.4-0.5 percent.
    Greece was also set to remain in the spotlight. A government spokesman said
on Friday that Greece will make every effort to reach an agreement with its euro
zone partners at Monday's meeting of euro zone finance ministers on how to
transition to a new support programme. 
    On the earnings front, L'Oreal posted forecast-beating
fourth-quarter comparable sales growth, driven in part by strong demand for its
luxury fragrance and cosmetics brands. 
    ArcelorMittal, the world's largest producer of steel, forecast on
Friday that its profit would fall in 2015, rather than improve as expected, as
iron ore prices sapped mining earnings and steel market growth cooled from last
year. 
    So far in Europe's earnings season, 55 percent of companies listed on the
STOXX 600 have exceeded analyst forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S data. In a typical quarter, 48 percent of companies beat estimates.
Fourth quarter earnings are expected to grow 20.3 percent.
         
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0721 GMT:   
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,088.48    0.96 %    19.95
 NIKKEI                              17913.36   -0.37 %   -66.36
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       482.66    1.49 %     7.07
 EUR/USD                               1.1427    0.22 %   0.0025
 USD/JPY                               118.85   -0.21 %  -0.2500
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.993        --     0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.333        --     0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,230.35    0.67 %    $8.15
 US CRUDE                              $51.93    1.41 %     0.72
   
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-SHARES UP ON UKRAINE CEASEFIRE, HOPES ON GREECE 
  > WALL ST ENDS SHARPLY HIGHER ON TECH, UKRAINE DEAL 
  > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES DOWN 0.37 PCT 
  > U.S. TREASURIES STEADY AFTER CUTTING LOSSES ON WEAK U.S. DATA 
  > SOFT DATA PUTS DOLLAR ON DEFENSIVE, EURO GIVEN BREATHER FOR NOW 
  > PRECIOUS-GOLD UP ON WEAKER DOLLAR, BUT SET FOR 3RD WEEKLY DROP 
  > LONDON COPPER SET FOR 2ND WEEKLY GAIN, BUOYED BY WEAKER DOLLAR 
  > BRENT HOLDS ABOVE $59, UP MORE THAN 3 PCT ON WEEK 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:    
    L'OREAL 
    The cosmetics group posted forecast-beating fourth-quarter comparable sales
growth, driven in part by strong demand for its luxury fragrance and cosmetics
brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Armani. 
    
    ARCELORMITTAL 
    ArcelorMittal, the world's largest producer of steel, forecast on Friday its
profit would fall in 2015, rather than improve as expected, as iron ore prices
sapped mining earnings and steel market growth cooled from last year.
 
    
    ANGLO AMERICAN 
    Global miner Anglo American took a $3.9 billion writedown on Friday,
mainly on its Brazilian iron ore operations, due to weak commodity prices.
 
    
    STATOIL 
    Norway's Statoil unveiled plans on Friday to develop the giant Johan
Sverdrup field in the North Sea, Europe's costliest offshore energy project,
expecting to spend up to $29 billion and bring it into production by 2019.
 
    
    HSBC 
    The Bank of England may look into allegations that Europe's biggest bank
HSBC helped clients to avoid paying tax, a top BoE official said on Friday. "The
allegations around HSBC raise serious issues around HSBC's conduct," Jon
Cunliffe, the BoE's deputy governor for financial stability, told BBC radio.
 
    
    KLEPIERRE 
    The French shopping mall operator Klepierre saw its 2014 net profit improve
slightly even though revenues fell as the group sold non-core assets to refocus
on fast-growing urban areas.
    
    BANKIA 
    Spain's government is waiting for lender Bankia's share price to climb up to
1.5 euros before trying to sell another chunk of the state-controlled lender,
ABC newspaper reported on Friday, without saying where it got the information.
The state invested in Bankia during its bailout at 1.35 euros per share. The
bank's shares closed at 1.17 euros on Thursday. 
    
    NEXANS 
    French cable maker Nexans said on Friday it will not pay a dividend for 2014
after it posted a net loss of 168 million euros ($192 million) last year, due to
a one-time 197 million euros goodwill impairment charge. 
    
    DASSAULT AVIATION, AIRBUS 
    French President Francois Hollande said Egypt would order 24 Rafale fighter
jets, one naval frigate and related military equipment in a deal to be signed in
Cairo on Monday worth more than 5 billion euros ($5.70 billion). 
    
    HAVAS 
    The French advertising holding company achieved 3.5 percent organic sales
growth on revenue of 551 million euros in the fourth quarter, finishing a strong
year driven by new contract wins and strength in Britain and emerging markets.
    
    AIR FRANCE 
    The airline plans to announce on Friday to its works council a plan to cut
348 jobs at its regional airports, Les Echos newspaper reported on its web site.
 
    
    AIRBUS 
    The U.S. unit of Europe's Airbus Group was awarded a contract worth $221
million to build 41 more UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters for the U.S.
Army, the Pentagon said in its daily digest of major contracts on Thursday.
 
    
    MEDIASET 
    Fininvest, the holding company of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's
family, has cashed in 377.2 million euros ($430 million) from the sale of a 7.8
pct stake in the private broadcaster. The sale took place through an accelerated
bookbuilding at a price of 4.1 euros a share. 
    
    PIRELLI 
    The world's fifth-largest tyremaker on Thursday forecast an 11 percent rise
in 2015 operating profit after profits for last year met expectations. 
    
    CASINO 
    Brazil's biggest retailer, GPA SA, posted a slightly lower
fourth-quarter profit as a larger tax burden offset more profitable operations,
according to a Thursday filing. GPA is controlled by France's Casino
 
    
    THYSSENKRUPP 
    German industrial group confirmed its full-year forecasts after strong
quarterly sales of capital goods compensated for a strike at its Italian
stainless-steel unit. 
    
    BEIERSDORF 
    Germany's Beiersdorf said it expected sales growth to accelerate to 3-5
percent this year, with another slight improvement in its core profit margin, as
it reported a slightly bigger than expected rise in 2014 earnings. 
    
    ENEL 
    Italy is trying to wrap up the planned sale of a 2 billion euro minority
stake in the top utility by end-March, paving the way for more asset disposals,
sources close to the matter said. 
    
    MEDIOBANCA 
    French insurer Groupama said on Thursday it had launched via a private
placement and bookbuilding the sale of its 4.9-percent stake in Italian bank
Mediobanca. 
    
    SHIRE 
    British pharmaceutical company Shire Plc has taken initial steps towards a
bid for U.S. bowel drugmaker Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc and is working
with advisers on a potential offer, according to people familiar with the
matter. 

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)