European Factors to Watch-Shares set to extend rally
PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) - European stocks were set to rise on Friday, extending the week's strong gains helped by mergers and acquisitions deals and as the euro hit its lowest level since March 19. Shares in Carrefour will be in focus after the world's second biggest retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, driven by growth in Latin America and an improvement at its domestic hypermarkets. At 0630 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX, for France's CAC and for FTSE 100 were up 0.3-0.5 percent. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.1 percent on Thursday, hitting its highest level since July 2007 and taking its gains so far this year to 19 percent, helped by M&A fever. The drop in the single currency over the past year is seen supporting a recovery in the region's economic growth and in corporate profits. The euro fell to as low as $1.0637 on Thursday, its lowest level since March 19. For the week, the euro is down about 2.7 percent. Mining shares will be in the spotlight on Friday as iron ore is veering to a new crisis as prices for future delivery of the commodity slide 30 percent in the space of a month, and its outlook is now more bearish than oil and more dire than ever for miners struggling to just stay in business. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0630 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,091.18 0.45 % 9.28 NIKKEI 19907.63 -0.15 % -30.09 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 509.2 0.48 % 2.43 EUR/USD 1.0663 0.05 % 0.0005 USD/JPY 120.48 -0.07 % -0.0900 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.954 -- 0.00 10-YR BUND YLD 0.167 -- 0.01 SPOT GOLD $1,195.25 0.07 % $0.79 US CRUDE $50.65 -0.28 % -0.14 > GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares on track for weekly gain > Wall St ends up on energy rebound; early earnings weak > Nikkei slips after hitting 20,000 mark, profit-taking prevails > TREASURIES-U.S. yields rise on jobless data, weak auction > FOREX-Dollar hovers near 3-week high, euro gets respite after fall > PRECIOUS-Gold near one-week low as US rate hike bets buoy dollar > METALS-London copper edges up, eyes flat close to week > Brent nudges up near $57, set for weekly gain COMPANY NEWS: CARREFOUR The French retailer posted a 2.3 percent rise in like-for-like first-quarter sales on Friday, driven by growth in Latin America and an improvement at its domestic hypermarkets. Brazilian tycoon Abilio Diniz is in talks to raise his 5.07 percent stake in Carrefour and has the support of major shareholders to take a board seat in the retailer, a source with knowledge of the situation said. BNP PARIBAS BNP Paribas plans to cut up to 1,800 jobs as part of a merger of Bank BGZ, which it bought last year, with BNP Paribas Polska, a spokesman for the French bank said on Friday. GIVAUDAN The world's biggest fragrance and flavours maker Givaudan said on Friday that sales edged higher despite a strong Swiss franc after Switzerland's central bank abandoned a cap on the currency earlier this year. DEUTSCHE BANK The bank, which faces allegations that it tried to rig the Libor benchmark interest rate, could settle with U.S. and UK authorities as early as this month, a source familiar with the matter said. HAYS British recruiting firm Hays said it expected to see an improvement in its second-half operating profit after reporting an underlying 8 percent rise in third quarter net fees on strong demand in Europe, the UK and Asia. BOLLORE, VIVENDI French tycoon Vincent Bollore said his company now owns more than 14.5 percent of French media group Vivendi, which has just settled its fight with activist shareholder P. Schoenfeld Asset Management (PSAM). VINCI, EIFFAGE The French government and toll-road operators have sealed a deal ending their long-running dispute over motorway concession contracts, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Suez Environnement said international arbitrators had ordered Argentina to pay it $405 million in damages relating to the termination of a water and waste water management concession contract in Buenos Aires. VEDANTA RESOURCES The natural-resources group reported production figures for the fourth quarter and said despite volatile commodity markets that it remained confident in its diversified business model. CENTRICA Gas deliveries into Britain's North Morecambe (Barrow) sub-terminal were restarted on Friday morning after an unplanned outage ended, its operator Centrica said. A2A Italy's biggest regional utility A2A said on Thursday its core earnings last year fell 9.6 percent due to weaker performance in its energy, environment and heat and services businesses. UNICREDIT, INTESA SANPAOLO The board of UniCredit has approved a plan to set up a pool of restructured loans with domestic rival Intesa Sanpaolo and U.S. private equity firm KKR , UniCredit's chief executive said on Thursday. DEUTSCHE WOHNEN, CONWERT The outcome of Deutsche Wohnen's bid for at least half of Austrian property group Conwert CONW.VI plus one share will be "tight" when the offer runs out next week, the German company's chief executive, Michael Zahn, said. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)
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