European Factors to Watch-Shares seen lower, focus on British election

jueves 7 de mayo de 2015 02:51 GYT

(Adds company news, futures prices)
    LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a weaker start on
Thursday, mirroring losses on Wall Street and in Asia, with a stronger euro
following a global bond rout and concerns about Greece's debt situation
prompting investors to stay cautious.
    Britain's FTSE 100 index will also be in focus as voters in the
country get to decide on Thursday who they want to rule the world's
fifth-largest economy in a tight election that could yield weak government,
propel it towards a vote on EU membership and stoke Scottish desire for
    Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's opposition
Labour Party have been neck and neck in opinion polls for months, indicating
neither will win enough seats for an outright majority in the 650-seat
    At 0647 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX 
and France's CAC were down between 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent.
Contracts on Britain's FTSE index were down 0.5 percent.
    Traders said the euro's resilience, partly due to a surge in Bund yields
, was weighing on sentiment. 
    "The recent strength in the euro is likely to start taking some life out of
equities given the inverse relationship the two have. Some traders are still
hopeful the euro strength is only a flash in the pan but until we see a shift in
trend, the near term momentum remains strong," IG analyst Stan Shamu said in a
    European equities were expected to mirror U.S. stocks, which ended weaker on
Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen warned of high
valuations, adding to anxiety about future interest rates, and a following a
bond rout. 
    U.S. Treasuries fell, weighed down by a global slide in government bond
markets that pushed yields to 2015 peaks and large bond sales by Apple 
and Royal Dutch Shell. 
    Investors will keep a close eye on Greece. European lenders on Wednesday
dashed Greece's hopes for a quick cash-for-reforms deal in the coming days,
leaving Athens in an increasingly desperate financial position ahead of a major
debt payment next week. 
    On the data front, strong domestic demand pushed German industrial orders up
in March but weak demand from abroad weighed on the figures, suggesting a only
modest start to the year for the manufacturing sector in Europe's largest
    German industrial group Siemens fell short of market expectations with a 5
percent drop in quarterly industrial profit as an unexpectedly weak result at
its digital factory unit compounded problems at its energy operations.
    BT posted a better than expected 3 percent rise in full-year earnings and
raised its outlook for free cash flow after a strong finish to the year, when it
connected a record 455,000 fibre broadband customers. 
    Swiss drugmaker Roche said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
granted breakthrough therapy designation for venetoclax for the treatment of
people who have relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia with a
genetic abnormality. 
    Spain's Repsol posted a 74 percent rise in first-quarter operating profit,
adjusted for inventory effects, to 928 million euros ($1.05 billion), boosted by
a weaker euro which more than offset the negative impact of low oil prices.
    Germany's largest utility E.ON posted another weak set of quarterly results,
burdened by its ailing power plant business which it plans to spin off to focus
on more promising areas such as renewables and power grids. 
    Commerzbank's investment banking division saw a 40 increase in operating
profit in the first quarter, driven primarily by a surge in debt and currency
trading, the bank said on Thursday. 
    Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent, which is set to be bought by larger
rival Nokia NOK1V.HE, swung to a first-quarter net loss, hit by a slowdown in
spending by key U.S. customers and the drag of lower-margin sales in China.
    The Netherlands' largest financial group reported stronger-than-expected
first-quarter profit for its banking arm on Thursday, buoyed by both underlying
growth and capital gains. 
    Britain's No. 4 grocer on Thursday posted a deteriorating fall in underlying
sales, further illustrating the tough turnaround task facing its new boss.
    The French bank said that it had placed 22 million shares it owned in
shopping mall operator Klepierre at 39.60 euros each, raising 870 million euros.
    The French water and waste group's first-quarter sales grew 8.5 percent to
6.3 billion euros as the weak euro boosted international revenue and capital
gains lifted current net profit 88 percent to 212 million, the company said.
    Tthe world's largest steelmaker cut its forecast for the growth of global
steel demand this year to between 0.5 and 1.5 percent after reducing its
guidance for all regions except Europe. 
    Germany's HeidelbergCement posted a rise in core earnings by 29 percent in
the first quarter as it benefited from a recovery of the construction industry
in North America and the United Kingdom. 
    The company said its chief executive and chief financial officer would both
leave the company, as it reported first-quarter profit that beat expectations.
    The German automotive supplier raised its sales guidance for 2015 on
strengthening auto demand in core European markets and foreign-exchange rate
    The chemicals group agreed to sell parts of its pharmaceutical ingredients
business to Swiss drug contract manufacturer Siegfried Holding for 270 million
euros ($306 million), including assumed debt. 
    Spanish builder Acciona is considering listing its renewable energy arm,
with 8,000 megawatt capacity, Expansion reported without citing sources. 
    Shares in Spanish telecoms group Cellnex and train manufacturer Talgo are
set to start trading after the two firms' initial public offerings (IPO). 
    The company said first-quarter net income attributable to shareholders was
$1.2 billion, 4 percent lower than in the prior year. 
    Germany's Beiersdorf on Thursday reported a bigger than expected rise in
first-quarter core profit helped by demand for its products in Eastern Europe.
    Norway's sovereign wealth fund, which owns almost 2 percent of RWE, has
written to RWE's supervisory board demanding an exit from coal power, Manager
Magazin reported, citing a spokeswoman for the fund.
    Investment group Haniel plans to lower its stake in the retailer by almost a
third as it is balancing its portfolio, though pledged to remain the largest
shareholder in Metro. 
    Struggling French nuclear power group Areva may sell mining assets and cut
as many as 3,500 jobs, or 10 percent of its domestic workforce in a
restructuring, newspaper Le Figaro said on Wednesday. 
    The company scrapped plans to float its HIV drug business on Wednesday and
promised to pay a steady dividend for three years, setting out long-term growth
targets after the biggest shake-up in its 15-year history. 
    Europe's second-biggest insurer said on Wednesday its first-quarter revenue
rose 10 percent, helped by the euro's weakness against other currencies.
    Rio Tinto vowed to continue producing iron ore at full tilt, despite a 55
percent plunge in prices since the start of last year, underpinned by its
forecast that China's steel demand will grow towards 1 billion tonnes.
    Consumer goods group Unilever said late on Wednesday that it had bought U.S.
skincare brand Kate Somerville. 
    Vivendi said it has completed the sale of its remaining 20 percent stake in
French telecoms group Numericable-SFR. 
    The French bank reported a 6 percent increase in first-quarter net income
with revenue growth across its main businesses. 
    Gold miner Randgold Resources said its first-quarter profit from mining fell
16 percent, hurt by lower gold prices and reduced production. 
    DE Industrial Orders
    FR Industrial Output
    US Challenger Layoffs 
    US Jobless Claims 
                                              LAST  PCT CHG    NET CHG
 S&P 500                                  2,080.15  -0.45 %      -9.31
 NIKKEI                                    19274.9  -1.31 %    -256.73
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                            502.23  -1.24 %       -6.3
 EUR/USD                                    1.1364   0.11 %     0.0013
 USD/JPY                                    119.50   0.06 %     0.0700
 10-YR US TSY YLD                            2.234       --      -0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                              0.609       --       0.02
 SPOT GOLD                               $1,187.00  -0.36 %     -$4.30
 US CRUDE                                   $60.59  -0.56 %      -0.34
  > Asia slides, euro at 2-mth peak as bond rout rattles markets 
  > Wall St ends lower on global bond rout, Yellen warning 
  > Nikkei falls to 1-month low, hit by worldwide drop in bond prices 
  > rices slip as bond markets sell off; 30-year yield tops 3 percent 
  > Dollar struggles on soft data, sterling awaits election 
  > Gold slips, stays below $1,200 as bond yields jump  
  > London copper hovers below 2015-peak, soft dollar supports 
  > Oil falls after hitting 2015 highs, markets still well supplied 

 (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)