LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - European shares were seen heading for a higher open on Tuesday, with a raft of company results helping offset broader market fears over Greece after Athens ordered state entities to park idle cash at the central bank in a scramble to pay its bills.
At 0650 GMT, Euro STOXX 50 futures were up 0.5 percent, DAX futures were up 0.8 percent, CAC 40 futures were up 0.4 percent and FTSE futures were up 0.3 percent.
Corporate updates pointed to a healthy start for the European earnings season, with Credit Suisse reporting a 23 percent rise in first-quarter profits after market volatility boosted securities trading and with Germany’s SAP reporting a 15 percent rise in operating profit helped by a cheap euro.
European companies are heading for their best earnings season in four years, sharply outperforming their U.S. counterparts on the back of a weak euro and improving economic conditions.
The German ZEW economic sentiment indicator, keenly watched by investors, is also due later on Tuesday.
“The (ZEW) fell short last month and given the lacklustre performance of the DAX last week the potential for disappointment cannot be ruled out,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson. “A slight improvement is expected...but this indicator is very fickle.”
Credit Suisse said first-quarter net profit rose 23 percent after market volatility boosted securities trading and on gains at its private bank for wealthy clients.
The advertising agency posted forecast-beating organic sales growth in the first quarter helped by the weak euro and the contribution of its recent acquisition of smaller peer Sapient.
The electricity components and energy management group stuck to its full-year targets after a lower euro helped it report a rise in first-quarter sales despite declines in organic revenue.
The miner missed first quarter analyst forecasts for iron ore shipments due to bad weather and transport delays, but maintained its full year production target in a bearish sign for prices already at 10-year lows.
The cosmetics maker said the market for mass beauty products in western Europe had slowed in the early part of the year but was still growing moderately in North America as it posted a 14.1 percent rise in first-quarter sales.
BARCLAYS - The U.S. Department of Justice wants five banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Barclays, to reach a joint “mega settlement” to allegations they manipulated foreign exchange markets, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the case.
Dutch chemicals maker AkzoNobel beat consensus revenue and earnings forecasts in the first quarter, as a weak euro and low input costs helped raise revenue and operating income in all three of its major business areas.
The world’s largest maker of ophthalmic lenses stuck to its full-year revenue forecast after sales increased on the back of expansion in the United States and Europe, as a lower euro helped.
Solid demand for pay-TV in Britain and an improving picture in Germany and Italy helped Sky Plc to post an as expected 20 percent jump in nine-month profit on Tuesday.
The real estate group confirmed its full-year forecasts after first-quarter sales rose 6.3 percent.
The biotech firm upped its full-year guidance after reporting first-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
The company said it would exit most of its European bulk ingredients business and restructure its struggling Splenda sucralose business, in a bid to focus on and strengthen its specialty food ingredients business.
The company met forecasts with a 2 percent fall in first-half profit as sales growth at its Primark discount fashion chain was offset by continued weakness in its sugar operation.
The British chip designer whose technology powers Apple’s iPhones said it made an encouraging start to the year, with pretax profit up 24 percent, both just ahead of expectations.
PRISA The Spanish media group said late on Monday it had swung to a net profit of 8.7 million euros in the first quarter of 2015 after losses in the year-ago period.
German investor rights group DSW will demand a special audit at Deutsche Bank’s annual general meeting on May 21 to explore a “long list” of threats including fines, settlements and legal proceedings that the bank faces.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Stocks firm after China stimulus, euro hit by Greek anxiety > Wall St rallies on China stimulus ahead of tech earnings > Nikkei rises on earnings hopes; Toyota jumps 1.5 pct > U.S. bond prices fall as stock rebound pare bids > Dollar firmer as Greek debt woes pressure euro; Aussie slips > Gold holds below $1,200 due to firmer dollar, equities > London copper edges up, capped by concern over Chinese property > Oil prices dip as U.S. stockpiles seen rising
Reporting by Lionel Laurent