Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to pause from multi-year highs

viernes 27 de febrero de 2015 03:30 GYT
 

PARIS, Feb 27 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to open steady on Friday,
taking a breather from their sharp two-month rally that has propelled regional
indexes to 7-year highs, with BASF in focus after posting
forecast-beating results.
    Quarterly operating earnings at the world's largest chemicals company rose a
better-than-expected 2.8 percent, as strong farming pesticides and basic
petrochemicals businesses offset the hit from lower crude prices on its oil and
gas division. 
    Airbus will also be in focus after the group took a charge of 551
million euros ($618 million) due to latest delays on the A400M military
transporter and adjusted civil production rates as it posted higher revenue and
core profit. 
    About two-third into Europe's earnings season, 55 percent of companies have
met or beaten analyst forecasts. Fourth-quarter earnings are set to grow 14.9
percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, which would be Europe's best
earnings season in 3-1/2 years.
    At 0730 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were flat to down 0.2 percent.
    
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0730 GMT: 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,110.74   -0.15 %    -3.12
 NIKKEI                              18797.94    0.06 %    12.15
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       488.15   -0.11 %    -0.55
 EUR/USD                               1.1212    0.14 %   0.0016
 USD/JPY                               119.30   -0.09 %  -0.1100
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.019        --     0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.310        --     0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,210.25    0.16 %    $1.95
 US CRUDE                              $49.12    1.97 %     0.95
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-OIL'S DROP CHILLS ASIAN STOCKS 
  > US STOCKS-NASDAQ RESUMES CLIMB; S&P 500, DOW FALL WITH ENERGY 
  > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 0.06 PCT 
  > TREASURIES-BOND PRICES DIP ON HIGHER JAN CORE CPI, WEAK 7-YR AUCTION 
  > FOREX-DOLLAR PAUSES AFTER RALLYING ON U.S. DATA, FED REMARKS 
  > GOLD HOLDS UP ON CHINESE DEMAND, SET TO SNAP 4-WEEK LOSING RUN 
  > COPPER NEARS $6,000, EYES BIGGEST MONTHLY GAIN SINCE SEPT 2012 
  > BRENT RISES ABOVE $61, SET FOR BIGGEST MONTHLY GAIN SINCE 2009 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    AIRBUS 
    Europe's Airbus Group took a charge of 551 million euros ($618 million) due
to latest delays on the A400M military transporter and adjusted civil production
rates as it posted higher revenue and core profit on Friday.
    Airbus also said it would cut the production rate of its A330 widebody jet
to six a month from the first quarter of 2016 as it also ramps up production of
its top-selling A320 family. 
    
    PEARSON 
    British publisher reported an as expected 5 percent rise in 2014 underlying
adjusted operating profit and reiterated its pledge to return to earnings growth
in 2015 as two years of painful restructuring come to an end. 
    
    LLOYDS BANKING GROUP 
    Lloyds has reported its first dividend since its bailout during the
financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 at a cost of 20 billion pounds ($31 billion) to
taxpayers. 
    
    IAG 
    British Airways-owner International Airlines Group upgraded its profit
forecast for 2015 by over 20 percent, after reporting a slightly better than
expected 81 percent jump in profit last year. 
    
    OLD MUTUAL 
    Anglo-South African financial services firm said on Friday its operating
profit for 2014 rose 16 percent to 1.6 billion pounds ($2.47 billion), just
above analysts' expectations. 
    
    RENTOKIL INITIAL 
    British support services firm said it was confident for the year ahead but
cautioned some parts of Europe remained challenging, after it posted a 58.4
percent rise in underlying full-year pretax profit. 
        
    ERSTE GROUP BANK 
    Erste started well in 2015 and has a chance to make money in all its markets
in the years ahead, Chief Executive Andreas Treichl said in a YouTube video
released along with preliminary 2014 results. 
    
    DRUGMAKER ASTRAZENECA 
    The firm has decided to carve out its early-stage antibiotic research by
creating a stand-alone subsidiary company, as it sharpens its focus on other
therapy areas. 
    
    SALZGITTER 
    The German steelmaker narrowed its pretax loss to 15 million euros ($17
million) in 2014 thanks to a deep cost-cutting programme and forecast a pretax
profit in the low double-digit millions of euros for 2015 on Friday. 
    
    UCB 
    Belgian pharmaceutical company forecast improved income in 2015 on Friday
based on continued growth of its three newer drugs, although its profit outlook
is not as bullish as that of the market. 
    
    RAIFFEISEN BANK 
    The Austrian lender said on Friday it would close its branches in Russia's
far east after finding that the network offered little income and had few
opportunities for growth. 
    
    TELECOM ITALIA 
    Italy's cabinet will examine a plan worth 5-6 billion euros ($5.6-6.7
billion) to speed up the roll-out of broadband networks across the country at a
meeting on March 3, two sources close to the matter said on Thursday. 
    
    ITALIAN BANKS
    Italy's government is under pressure from banks and their allies in
parliament to water down a landmark reform of large cooperative banks, which the
lenders fear will make them prey to foreign rivals and speculative investors.
 
    
    ROYAL DUTCH SHELL 
    The United Steelworkers union (USW) and representatives for several U.S.
refineries discussed on Thursday a possible resumption of face-to-face
negotiations to settle a 26-day strike, two people familiar with the discussions
told Reuters. 
    
    RIO TINTO 
    Rio Tinto said on Friday that in its latest moves to slash costs in response
to weak commodity prices it was letting go its energy chief, rolling its coal
and uranium businesses into two other units and cutting some other corporate
jobs. 
    
    BARCLAYS 
    The bank's' decision to substantially increase its provision for forex fines
indicated that a deal could be announced within weeks, Sky News reported late on
Thursday. 
    
    FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES 
    Fiat Chrysler has agreed to give permanent contracts to hundreds of new
hires at its Melfi plant in southern Italy currently on short-term agreements, a
union said on Thursday, in an early boost for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's
labour reforms. 
    
    SACYR 
    The builder said it expected double digit growth in sales and profit this
year in a conference call to accompany year results after market close on
Thursday. 
    
    ACCIONA 
    The energy company returned to profit in 2014, it reported after market
close on Thursday.
 
    JAZZTEL 
    The telecoms company reported 2014 core profits up 17 percent after market
close on Thursday.
        
    NOVARTIS 
    The Japanese unit of Novartis AG said on Friday it was ordered by Japan's
health ministry to halt manufacturing and sales of non-OTC drugs from March 5 to
19. 
    
    BOLLORE, HAVAS 
    French industrial conglomerate Bollore said it had increased its stake in
Paris-based advertising company Havas by 82.5 percent following a public
exchange offer. 
    
    BONGRAIN 
    The French manufacturer of dairy products said full-year net income fell to
39.1 million euros from 48.9 million a year earlier even as revenue rose 9.6
percent to 4.61 billion euros. 
    
    GROUPE FNAC 
    The French retailer said net income more than doubled to 41 million euros in
2014. 

    JCDECAUX 
    The French outdoor advertising concessions operator said it won the
seven-year advertising contract for the Helsinki City Transport network.
 
    
    

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)