Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to dip ahead of euro zone meeting

viernes 20 de febrero de 2015 03:27 GYT
 

PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to dip on Friday,
retreating from seven-year highs ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance
ministers on Greece's bailout programme.
    At 0723 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were down 0.1-0.4 percent.
    Investors also awaited flash PMI data for the German, French and overall
euro zone services and manufacturing sectors on Friday, expected to show further
modest improvement in February.
    Food giant Danone will be in the spotlight after posting
better-than-expected sales for 2014 and saying margins would rise slightly this
year. 
    Half way into earnings season, results have been strong in Europe, with 53
percent of companies posting better-than-expected profits, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S. Fourth-quarter earnings are expected to grow 19.5 percent,
which would be the best quarter in 3-1/2 years.
    A Greek government spokesman said on Friday Greece has made every effort to
reach a mutually beneficial agreement with its euro zone partners but will not
be pushed to implement its old bailout programme. 
    On Thursday, Germany rejected a Greek proposal for a six-month extension to
its euro zone loan agreement, saying it was "not a substantial solution" because
it did not commit Athens to stick to the conditions of its international
bailout. 
    "Both parties of course want to give away as few concessions as possible so
by its very nature, any agreement will probably only be found at the 11th hour,"
CMC market analyst Jasper Lawler wrote in a note.
    "Until an agreement is found, the upwards momentum built up in European
markets during January could remain contained."
    The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.3 percent
higher at 1,520.22 points on Thursday, after hitting a seven-year high during
the session. So far this year, the FTSEurofirst 300 has surged 11 percent,
outpacing Wall Street's S&P 500, up 2 percent over the same period.
    The sharp rally has propelled valuation ratios to levels not seen in nearly
11 years. The STOXX 600 index trades at 15.6 times earnings expected in
the next 12 months, its highest P/E ratio since mid-2004.
        
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0723 GMT: 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,097.45   -0.11 %    -2.23
 NIKKEI                               18332.3    0.37 %    67.51
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       483.61   -0.22 %    -1.05
 EUR/USD                               1.1346   -0.18 %  -0.0020
 USD/JPY                               118.84   -0.08 %  -0.1000
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.112        --     0.00
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.384        --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,208.01    0.08 %    $0.96
 US CRUDE                              $51.58    0.82 %     0.42
 
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-JAPAN STOCKS RISE, UPBEAT DATA SUPPORTS DOLLAR 
  > US STOCKS-NASDAQ GAINS 7TH DAY; DOW, S&P 500 SLIP WITH WAL-MART 
  > NIKKEI HITS FRESH 15-YEAR HIGH ON STRONG U.S. DATA 
  > TREASURIES-PRICES OFF ON RATE-HIKE UNCERTAINTIES 
  > DOLLAR FIRM AFTER UPBEAT DATA, EURO ON EDGE AHEAD OF GREECE TALKS 
  > GOLD TREADS WATER AS GREEK TALKS EYED; SET FOR FOURTH WEEKLY DROP 
  > METALS-COPPER EYES FLAT WEEK WITH CHINA BUYERS OUT 
  > OIL EDGES UP AS U.S. RIG COUNT LIKELY TO FALL FURTHER 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    DANONE 
    French food group Danone on Friday forecast sales growth of between 4 and 5
percent this year, as it seeks to cope with deflation in Europe, volatile
currencies in emerging markets and a difficult Russian market. 
    
     STANDARD LIFE 
    The firm said on Friday its operating profit jumped 19 percent to 604
million pounds ($931.49 million), though added annuity sales would be hit this
year by government pension reforms. 
    
    BP 
    A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected BP Plc's BP.L attempt to reduce the
maximum civil fine it could face for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil
spill, leaving it potentially liable to pay $13.7 billion under the federal
Clean Water Act. 
    
    CLUB MEDITERRANEE 
    The holiday group now controlled by Chinese conglomerate Fosun 
said on Friday growth in the Americas helped keep revenues stable as volumes
were hit by a late Chinese New Year and weakness in Europe and Africa. 
    
    SANOFI 
    French drugmaker Sanofi named Olivier Brandicourt, a Paris-educated doctor
and head of Bayer AG's healthcare arm, as its chief executive officer. 
    
    GECINA 
    French real estate group Gecina said net income would be at least stable
this year after a slight increase in 2014 and announced plans to sell 800
million euros in assets as it raised its dividend 1.1 percent. 
    
    ADP 
    Paris airports operator Aeroports de Paris posted a 3.4 percent rise in 2014
gross earnings and maintained its target for 2015. 
    
    NOVARTIS 
    Australia's competition regulator said on Friday it will not oppose a three
part deal between Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L to trade more than $20
billion worth of assets, following approval from EU regulators. 
    
    BAYER 
    German drugmaker Bayer AG is close to selling its diabetes devices business
to KKR-backed Panasonic Healthcare Holdings Co Ltd and the unit could be valued
at up to $2.3 billion, Bloomberg news reported. 
    
    FUCHS PETROLUB 
    German lubricant maker Fuchs Petrolub on Friday reported a 2 percent
increase in 2014 sales and forecast a further increase this year. 
    
        

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Alistair Smout)