European Factors to Watch-Indexes to inch higher after strong German sales data
(Adds futures, further company news)
LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) - European shares were indicated to inch higher at the open on Tuesday, helped by better-than-expected German retail sales data and a sentiment boost from a rally on Wall Street.
Futures for the Euro STOXX 50 equity index, Germany's DAX, Britain's FTSE 100 and France's CAC were up between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent at 0720 GMT.
German retail sales rose more by 2.9 percent month on month and 5.3 percent year on year in January, far more than economists had expected, data by the country's Federal Statistics office showed on Tuesday.
Auto stocks will be in focus as executives from the largest carmakers attended an industry event in Geneva.
The Chief Executives of Opel and Volkswagen said late on Monday Europe's carmakers are benefiting from robust demand for passenger cars in most of Europe although the slumping Russian market continues to cast a shadow, making forecasts increasingly difficult.
Elsewhere, German utility RWE was indicated to open almost 1 percent higher after Rheinische Post reported it plans to pay a dividend of 1 euro per share for 2014.
Barclays said it made a 2014 adjusted pretax profit of 5.5 billion pounds ($8.46 billion), up from a restated 4.9 billion in 2013 and above the average analyst forecast of 5.3 billion pounds.
The Nasdaq on Monday closed above 5,000 for the first time since the year 2000 dot-com bubble as tech stocks were boosted by deals, while the S&P 500 and Dow indexes hit records after economic data pointed to a slowly accelerating economy. Continuación...