Europe Factors to Watch-ECB, earnings set to push Europe stocks higher

jueves 5 de marzo de 2015 03:41 GYT
 

PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Thursday,
with a batch of company results in focus ahead of the European Central bank
meeting at which it is set to give further details on its massive bond-buying
programme.
    Shares in Carrefour will be eyed after the world's second-largest
retailer said it would boost capital expenditure this year as it seeks to cement
a revival of its European hypermarkets and expand in the key emerging market of
Brazil. 
    At 0740 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were up 0.2-0.5 percent.
    The ECB, which starts its quantitative easing, or bond-buying, programme
worth more than 1 trillion euros this month, is expected to detail the plan
later in the day following its policy meeting.
    The bank is also set to keep rates on hold, likely lift growth forecasts to
reflect a string of positive data surprises, but cut inflation projections as it
incorporates the full effect of a dramatic oil price fall. 
    European stocks have strongly rallied since the start of the year, with the
FTSEurofirst 300 index up 14 percent in 2015, boosted by the prospect
of QE.
    The pharma sector will be in the spotlight on Thursday after drugmaker
AbbVie Inc said it will buy Pharmacyclics Inc, the maker of
blockbuster cancer drug Imbruvica, for about $21 billion to broaden its oncology
drugs pipeline. 
    On the macro front, data showed on Thursday German industrial orders fell
far more than forecast in January, posting their largest drop since August, data
showed on Thursday, casting a shadow over what had previously looked like a
strong start to 2015 for Europe's largest economy. 
    China announced an economic growth target for 2015 of around 7 percent and
said it would boost government spending, signalling that the lowest rate of
expansion for a quarter of a century is the "new normal" for the world's No.2
economy. 
         
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0740 GMT: 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,098.53   -0.44 %    -9.25
 NIKKEI                              18751.84    0.26 %    48.24
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       484.07   -0.45 %    -2.17
 EUR/USD                               1.1046   -0.28 %  -0.0031
 USD/JPY                               119.82    0.14 %   0.1700
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.117        --     0.00
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.381        --     0.00
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,200.55    0.09 %    $1.10
 US CRUDE                              $51.73    0.39 %     0.20
 
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA STOCKS SLIP, EURO HITS 11-YR LOW BEFORE ECB 
  > US STOCKS-WALL STREET DOWN FOR 2ND DAY AFTER RALLY; HEALTHCARE GAINS 
  > NIKKEI EDGES UP, BOJ'S ETF BUYING HELPS SENTIMENT 
  > BOND PRICES MOSTLY FLAT ON MIXED DATA AHEAD OF U.S. JOBS REPORT 
  > EURO HOVERS NEAR 11-YR LOW, WAITING DETAILS OF ECB EASING PROGRAMME 
  > PRECIOUS-GOLD RISES ABOVE $1,200, BUT ROBUST DOLLAR CURBS GAINS 
  > METALS-COPPER HOLDS STEADY AFTER CHINA REFORM PACKAGE RELEASED 
  > BRENT STICKS ABOVE $60; IRAN NEWS OFFSETS BEARISH US STOCKPILES DATA 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    CARREFOUR 
    The world's second-largest retailer, said it would boost capital expenditure
this year as it seeks to cement a revival of its European hypermarkets and
expand in the key emerging market of Brazil. 
    
    SCHRODERS 
    The company reported a 16 percent jump in pretax profits for 2014 to 517.1
million pounds ($787.28 million), boosted by 24.8 billion in net inflows.
 
    
    LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE GROUP 
    The LSE reported a 19 percent jump in adjusted full-year pretax profit,
helped by a flurry of stock market listings last year, its busiest for initial
public offerings in seven years. 
    
    AGGREKO 
    The company says: Total dividend 27.12 pence per share, final dividend 17.74
pence per share, encouraging start to 2015. Expects underlying trading profit to
be broadly in line with last year. 
    
    SCOR 
    The reinsurer posted a higher-than-expected 40 percent increase in full-year
net income to 512 million euros and proposed paying an 8 percent higher
dividend. 
    
    FRIENDS LIFE 
    The company reported a 38 percent rise in pre-tak profits. 
    
    AVIVA 
    The insurer reported a 6 percent rise in 2014 operating profit, in line with
market expectations, and warned it had more work to do to complete a turnaround
in its performance. 
    
    ADMIRAL GROUP - The company announced a strong annual result with
group profit before tax of 357 million pounds ($543.53 million) for the year to
December 2014. 
    
    BETFAIR - Online gambling company Betfair hiked its full-year
profit forecast range after it said trading had remained strong following a
better-than-expected third-quarter performance.
    
    GEMALTO NV 
    The SIM card maker reported a 10 percent jump in quarterly profit and raised
its long-term target for profit from operations, helped by its acquisition of
SafeNet. 
    
    KLOECKNER & CO 
    The German steel distributor said it expected core profit to rise in 2015
even after a tough first quarter afflicted by steep declines in U.S. steel
prices and other factors. 
    
    DELHAIZE 
    Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize reported better-than-expected
operating results in the fourth quarter, as its margins in Belgium improved from
the previous quarter in spite of hefty sales declines. 
    
    SANDVIK 
    Swedish industrial group said on Thursday it would cut more costs in
response to weak demand in some markets and make a write-down in its Mining
Systems business, as it detailed the second phase of a group-wide restructuring
program. 
    
    JCDECAUX 
    Outdoor advertising specialist said it planned to buy back up to 500 million
euros of shares and proposed a higher dividend as it reported full-year net
income more than doubled. 
    
    RTL 
    European broadcaster reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings,
helped by growing advertising revenue in its most important market Germany.
 
    
    BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA 
    The Tuscan bank said on Wednesday that at current share price levels the
country's Treasury would get a stake of around 4 percent in the bank when it
receives new shares as payment for a coupon on state loans. 
    
    MONCLER 
    The luxury down jacket maker posted a 21 percent rise in 2014 operating
profit as 37 new shop openings in the course of the year helped push sales
higher. 
    
    ITALCEMENTI 
    The cement maker nearly halved its net loss in 2014 to 48.9 million euros
and proposed a dividend payout of 0.09 euros. 
    
    AIRBUS 
    Germany has reached an agreement with Airbus on the payment of the remaining
623 million euros of its loan to the company for the development of the A350
wide-bodied airliner. 
    
    BANKIA, FCC, REALIA 
    Bankia said late Wednesday it would sell its stake in Realia to Carlos
Slim's Carso Inmobiliaria, pre-empting a full takeover offer from Slim for
Realia at 0.58 euros per share. This is a discount of nearly one third to
Wednesday's closing price. 
    
    SWATCH 
    Swatch is to appeal a decision on Wednesday by a Dutch court to set aside a
402 million Swiss franc ($416.67 million) arbitration ruling in 2013 against
U.S. jeweller Tiffany.
      

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)