Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to halt sell-off; Adecco eyed
PARIS, March 11 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to inch up on Wednesday, halting the previous session's sell-off, with Adecco in focus after its fourth-quarter profit beat expectations. The world's largest staffing group said it expects a pick-up in economic growth to increase demand for flexible labour this year, putting it on track to hit its margin target in 2015. E.ON will also be in the spotlight after Germany's largest utility reported its biggest ever annual loss mainly due to the impact of power plant writedowns following a steep decline in wholesale electricity prices across Europe. German reinsurer Munich Re will buy back up to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of its own shares by late April 2016, bolstering efforts to return capital to shareholders that it cannot put to work in an insurance market where prices are under pressure. Credit Suisse shares were set to rise again, up 3.1 percent in premarket indications. The stock surged nearly 8 percent on Tuesday after the Swiss lender said it had hired Prudential head Tidjane Thiam as its new CEO. At 0733 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.1-0.3 percent. U.S. stocks dropped on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 falling 1.7 percent, its biggest decline in two months, on increasing views the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise interest rates as soon as June. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0733 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,044.16 -1.7 % -35.27 NIKKEI 18723.52 0.31 % 58.41 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 470.84 -0.57 % -2.68 EUR/USD 1.0676 -0.2 % -0.0021 USD/JPY 121.25 0.1 % 0.1200 10-YR US TSY YLD 2.107 -- -0.02 10-YR BUND YLD 0.204 -- -0.03 SPOT GOLD $1,163.20 0.17 % $2.02 US CRUDE $48.78 1.01 % 0.49 > GLOBAL MARKETS-ASIA STOCKS FALL ON FED NERVES > US STOCKS-S&P 500 POSTS WORST DAY IN 2 MONTHS ON RATE WORRIES > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES UP 0.31 PCT > TREASURIES-EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK BOND BUYING FUELS U.S. RALLY > EURO LANGUISHES AT 12-YEAR LOWS VS DOLLAR AFTER ECB BEGINS QE > PRECIOUS-GOLD STUCK NEAR 3-MONTH LOW AS DOLLAR STRENGTH WEIGHS > METALS-COPPER STEADY NEAR TWO WEEK LOWS AS DOLLAR RALLY PAUSES > BRENT REBOUNDS TOWARDS $57 AFTER U.S. CRUDE STOCKS FALL COMPANY NEWS: E.ON Germany's largest utility E.ON reported its biggest ever annual loss mainly due to the impact of power plant writedowns following a steep decline in wholesale electricity prices across Europe. MUNICH RE German reinsurer will buy back up to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of its own shares by late April 2016, bolstering efforts to return capital to shareholders that it cannot put to work in an insurance market where prices are under pressure. DEUTSCHE POST The postal and logistics company forecast profits of up to 3.2 billion euros ($3.42 billion) in 2015 thanks to growth in time-sensitive express deliveries and its parcel business offsetting weak freight forwarding results. EDF The French state-controlled utility should consider a capital increase or partnerships with foreign utilities to finance the upgrade of its ageing nuclear fleet, a long-awaited parliament report on power tariffs said on Tuesday. MICHAEL PAGE The staff recruitment firm posted a 17 percent rise in full-year pretax profit on Wednesday, boosted by strong demand for permanent jobs in UK, Germany, the U.S. and Greater China. AREVA The lossmaking French nuclear group is set to make 1,000 new job cuts at its German operation, Les Echos newspaper reported citing an announcement made there by Chief Executive Philippe Knoche to worker representatives. HEINEKEN The Dutch brewer said it would invest 7.5 billion Mexican pesos ($480 million) to build a brewery in Mexico to supply U.S. and Mexican markets. MAN SE Man is targeting flat operating profit and sales this year as weak demand for trucks in core markets is weighing on results, after posting higher earnings last year. The Volkswagen-owned truck manufacturer said on Wednesday operating profit at its core truck division. BAYER Germany's largest drugmaker Bayer aims to increase sales of its main HealthCare division by 6 percent per year on average through 2017 to more than 25 billion euros ($26.7 billion), hoping to capitalise on new drugs such as stroke prevention pill Xarelto. BWIN.PARTY The online gambling company in talks with suitors over potential offers for the firm, said the decline of regulated poker markets in Europe had hit its earnings in 2014. SIEMENS European Union antitrust regulators have extended their investigation into Siemens' $7.6-billion proposed takeover of U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group Inc, the European Commission said. FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES CEO Sergio Marchionne sold 1.4 million shares in the carmaker to fund tax liabilities, the company said in a statement. The shares were sold on the open market at an average price of 14.12 euros per share, leaving Marchionne with 13 million FCA common shares. JC DECAUX JCDecaux Holding, the holding company of the Decaux family, is to sell 12 million shares in JCDecaux in an accelerated bookbuild, the firm said on Tuesday. DEUTSCHE TELEKOM Poland's largest media group Cyfrowy Polsat's mobile arm Polkomtel said on Tuesday it has stopped active bidding in a local auction for fast mobile broadband frequencies, in which Deutsche Telekom is also bidding. EURONEXT Euronext plans to drop its established wheat futures before the 2018 harvest in favour of a just-launched premium wheat contract, the exchange said on Tuesday, shrugging off an awkward start for the new product. AGFA-GEVAERT Belgian graphics group on Wednesday said its margins contracted in the final quarter of 2014, as profits fell in its printing business due to declining income from analogue products and tough competition. LAGARDERE French media to distribution group Lagardere is targeting 5 percent operating profit growth for 2015 and organic revenue growth of 3 percent a year for the next five years, Chairman and Chief Executive Arnaud Lagardere told Les Echos newspaper in an interview. BASF The chemical firm said late on Tuesday that it has acquired nanowire technology from San Diego-based Seashell Technology LLC. FUGRO Dutch marine engineer said on Wednesday it has been summoned to court by shareholder and larger business rival Boskalis BOSN.AS to permit a vote on removing a poison pill at its annual general meeting in April. BIOMERIEUX French medical diagnostics specialist said 2015 would "probably be marked by a persistently tight economic environment." and set itself an organic revenue growth objective of between 4.5 percent and 6.5 percent for the year, at constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation. It said its 2014 results were in line with its predictions. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)
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