European Factors to Watch - Shares set to pause, banks in focus
GLASGOW, May 5 (Reuters) - European shares were set to pause at the open on Tuesday after strong gains in the previous session, with the UK's top share index set to outperform after a public holiday. Financials were set to be in focus after UBS said it is in advanced talks with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to settle allegations of foreign exchange market rigging, as Switzerland's biggest bank by assets posted forecast-beating first-quarter earnings. Another Swiss bank Credit Suisse has quietly withdrawn a request for a waiver to raise capital more easily, after U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staffers told the bank in recent weeks it would not win approval, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50, German DAX and French CAC were all 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent lower by 0614 GMT. European shares advanced in thin trade on Monday, boosted by better-than-expected German manufacturing data and merger and acquisition speculation about chemicals companies. Germany's DAX rose 1.4 percent Trading volume was lighter than usual on most indexes because of a public holiday in Britain, Europe's largest stock market. Futures on the FTSE 100 were up 0.7 percent on Tuesday, with traders saying Britain's FTSE 100 was set to play catch up with Europe after missing out on Monday's gains. Some traders cited continued uncertainty over Greece as capping market gains in the euro zone. Wide differences over pension and labour reforms continued to dog intensive negotiations between Greece's leftist government and its international creditors despite progress in other areas as the country's cash position becomes increasingly critical. "An agreement on Greek debt load remains elusive so waiting on the side-lines could prove an acceptable approach," Derek Baker, trader at London Capital Group, said in a note. Cement makers Holcim Ltd and Lafarge S.A. on Monday won U.S. antitrust approval to merge after they agreed to divest assets, the Federal Trade Commission. COMPANY NEWS CREDIT SUISSE Credit Suisse has quietly withdrawn a request for a waiver to raise capital more easily, after U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staffers told the bank in recent weeks it would not win approval, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. For more, click on UBS UBS said it is in advanced talks with the U.S. Department of Justice to settle allegations of foreign exchange market rigging, as Switzerland's biggest bank posted forecast-beating first-quarter earnings. For more, click on HOLCIM, LAFARGE Holcim Ltd, a Swiss cement maker, and Lafarge S.A., which is based in Paris, on Monday won U.S. antitrust approval to merge after they agreed to divest assets, the Federal Trade Commission. For more, click on GLENCORE Miner and commodity trader Glencore posted on Tuesday a 9 percent fall in its first quarter copper production reflecting lower copper grades at its Alumbrera and Antamina mines in South America and maintenance at its Collahuasi mine. ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT British asset manager Aberdeen Asset Management posted a 25 percent jump in first-half profits, boosted by a recent acquisition, but also saw more money leave its funds on the back of market uncertainty. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Shell's quest to return to Arctic drilling for the first time in three years could face delays after Seattle ruled that the city's port must apply for a permit for the company to use it as a hub for drilling rigs. SANOFI Rebel investors made a mark at the drugmaker's annual shareholder meeting as resolutions approving millions of euros paid to attract a new boss and pay off the one it had sacked were passed with fewer than two out of three votes cast. VINCI The construction and concessions group said it completed the acquisition of Indonesian company PT Istana Karang Laut, which is active in the upstream and downstream sectors of Asia's oil and gas industry, and has annual revenue of around 30 million euros. CREDIT AGRICOLE Credit Agricole appointed the head of its Credit Agricole Assurances and Predica insurance businesses as chief financial officer to replace Bernard Delpit, who is leaving the French bank to take up the same role at aerospace group Safran. GDF SUEZ, AREVA French gas and power group GDF Suez is interested in some of the activities of nuclear firm Areva, a spokesman for the company said. Areva said it won a contract from Exelon Nuclear to supply 30 additional used fuel storage modules at the Nine Mile Point nuclear station in Scriba, New York. SAINT-GOBAIN The Swiss financial regulator denied an appeal by investors including Bill Gates over a proposed 2.75 billion Swiss franc ($3 billion) takeover of Swiss firm Sika by French rival Saint-Gobain. CARMAT The company said its second artifical heart patient died on Saturday, nine months after receiving the transplant operation. OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS The soccer club plans to launch a 52 million euro capital increase in the coming weeks, which will be used to refinance convertible bonds and pay for construction work. The group said nine-month sales fell 20 percent to 76.2 million euros. UNILEVER Consumer goods maker Unilever says its brands that most fully embrace its CEO's passion for sustainability perform the best, adding fuel to its oft-repeated argument that social responsibility is good for business. UK ELECTION Ahead of Britain's parliamentary election on Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party are tied at 33 percent, according to a YouGov opinion poll for the Sun newspaper published on Monday. INFINEON Indicated 2.8 percent higher The auto and industrial chipmaker again raised its revenues and profit predictions for the year, partly thanks to the weak euro, an increase in demand for its security chips and the consolidation of recently acquired International Rectifier. ADIDAS Indicated 1.3 percent higher The sportswear company posted better-than-expected first quarter sales growth on Tuesday, helped by a strong rise in its running and fashion units as well as a recovery of its struggling North America business. ALLIANZ Indicated 0.2 percent lower The Pimco Total Return Fund, launched by Bill Gross, has lost its title as the world's biggest bond mutual fund, following two years of withdrawals. AUTOS BMW indicated 0.2 percent higher Daimler indicated 0.1 percent higher Volkswagen indicated 0.5 percent higher Russia's government is planning to introduce measures to reduce the risk of rouble volatility for foreign auto makers which have localised their production in the country, Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing industry sources. Separately, Volkswagen said it was creating a commercial vehicles group to align its truck divisions MAN and Scania, pushing its long-standing ambition to become Europe's largest truck manufacturer. LUFTHANSA Indicated 1.8 percent higher Lufthansa posted a smaller operating loss in the first quarter, but said further action was needed to lower costs, especially in light of a rising pension burden and staff-related expenses. METRO Indicated 1.3 percent higher The retailer reported an acceleration in group sales growth in its fiscal second quarter as a recovery in Europe helped its core cash-and-carry and consumer-electronics businesses. SIKA The Swiss financial regulator on Monday denied an appeal by investors including Bill Gates over a proposed 2.75 billion Swiss franc ($3 billion) takeover of Swiss firm Sika by French rival Saint-Gobain. For more, click on DUFRY Dufry said it swung to a first-quarter net loss of 9 million francs after amortization from the acquisition of Nuance. The duty-free retailer said the integration is expected to be completed by year-end and confirmed the 70 million francs in synergies it expects to reap in 2016, but said small contributions could already by seen in 2015. SWISSLOG Swisslog said first-quarter earnings before interest and tax rose sharply to 3.3 million francs as the company worked down a large order backlog from year-end, publishing quarterly figures for the first time in order to align its reporting practices with those of KUKA AG, its main shareholder. BASILEA Basilea said a clinical phase 1 study with the orally administered investigational drug BAL3833/CCT3833 in patients with advanced solid tumors began. BAL3833/CCT3833 is the lead compound of a series of small molecule panRAF inhibitors recently in-licensed by Basilea. HELVETIA Helvetia said the takeover of Nationale Suisse successfully completed and the two firms' insurance units have been merged. At the same time, an integrated organisation model has been introduced for office and field staff. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0552 GMT: LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 2,114.49 0.29 % 6.2 NIKKEI 19531.63 0.06 % 11.62 MSCI ASIA EX-JP 512.14 -0.5 % -2.55 EUR/USD 1.1132 -0.11 % -0.0012 USD/JPY 120.03 -0.06 % -0.0700 10-YR US TSY 2.146 -- 0.01 YLD 10-YR BUND YLD 0.456 -- 0.00 SPOT GOLD $1,188.04 0.03 % $0.34 US CRUDE $58.90 -0.05 % -0.03 > Asian shares falter, Aussie dollar volatile after rate cut > Wall Street ends on upbeat earnings from Berkshire, Cognizant > TREASURIES-Long bond drops more than a point in thin trading > FOREX-Aussie rebounds after short-lived dip on RBA rate cut > PRECIOUS-Gold clings to gains; US jobs data, rate outlook eyed > METALS-London nickel hits five week high > Brent crude slips on Saudi plan to halt Yemen bombing (Reporting by Alistair Smout)
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