European Factors to Watch-Shares seen opening higher

lunes 18 de mayo de 2015 02:50 GYT
 

(Adds company news)
    By Atul Prakash
    LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) - European shares headed for a firmer start on
Monday, with some positive company updates and a rise in the prices of major
commodities seen supporting the market.
    The futures indexes for the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50,
Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.3 to 0.4 percent higher at
0649 GMT. 
    Energy stocks will be in focus after oil prices gained on concerns that
conflict in Iraq and Yemen could disrupt supplies after Islamic State militants
said they had taken control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi in a big blow to the
government. Prices of key industrial metals were also up. 
    Some positive company updates were also expected to help the market. Kabel
Deutschland said it expected its adjusted EBITDA growth to accelerate
to a medium to high single-digit percentage this year, after reporting 3.3
percent growth for 2014/15. 
    However, investors were expected to stay cautious following Greece's debt
situation. The country is fast running out of cash and talks with its lenders
have been deadlocked over their demands for Greece to implement reforms,
including pension cuts and labour market liberalisation. 
    German politicians kept up the pressure on Greece over the weekend to
implement reforms, with Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel warning Athens in an
interview that a third aid package would not be on the cards unless the Greeks
made some changes.
    
    COMPANY NEWS:    
    
    BHP BILLITON 
    BHP Billiton's spin-off South32 started trading with a market value
of nearly $9 billion on Monday, a third below the top end of forecasts and
underlining investor nerves about the outlook for the battered mining sector.
 
    Separately, BHP Billiton is looking to take advantage of a slump in oil
prices to pick up assets where it can use its deepwater drilling expertise to
boost growth as it slows expansion in onshore shale, its petroleum head said.
 
  
    VOLKSWAGEN 
    Volkswagen group sales fell for the first time in at least four and a half
years in April, raising pressure on the German carmaker to fix trouble spots
laid bare by the shock ouster of Chairman Ferdinand Piech. 
    
    INMARSAT 
    British satellite company Inmarsat delayed the launch of its Global Xpress
satellite on Monday following the launch failure of another rocket at the
weekend, forcing it to also trim its financial outlook. 
    
    DEUTSCHE BANK 
    Deutsche Bank co-CEO Juergen Fitschen returns to a Munich court where he and
five other current and former Deutsche executives are on trial for allegedly
attempting to manipulate evidence to lower damage payments the bank paid to the
Kirch media empire.
    Separately, co-CEO Anshu Jain told Frankfurt Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in
an interview he expected not as many investors as usual would exonerate the
board at Thursday's AGM. 
    
    BANKS, COMMERZBANK 
    Ratings agency Fitch will soon downgrade European banks en masse, possibly
even at the start of the week, German newspaper Handelsblatt said, citing
unnamed financial sources. 
    The newspaper said dozens of banks would be affected by the downgrade,
including Deutsche Bank, which would see its rating fall slightly, and
Commerzbank, which would be hit much harder. 
    
    KABEL DEUTSCHLAND 
    The cable group that was recently taken over by Vodafone VOD.L said it
expected its adjusted EBITDA growth to accelerate to a medium to high
single-digit percentage this year, after reporting 3.3 percent growth for
2014/15. 
    
    OMV 
    Austrian energy group OMV's first-quarter underlying operating profit of 333
million euros ($380.3 million) beat market expectations despite falling 50
percent from a year ago as oil prices dropped. 
    
    SYNGENTA 
    As seed and chemical maker Monsanto Co. woos Swiss agrochemicals
firm Syngenta, Monsanto also is trying to win over consumers in key
international markets, rolling out social media and marketing campaigns.
 
    
    DEUTSCHE POST 
    German union Verdi continued with nationwide strikes on Saturday, hoping to
increase pressure on management in a row over pay and conditions. 
    Separately, the company's long-distance bus unit, Postbus, has signed a
partnership deal with a unit of Eurolines, as it continues to expand its network
beyond Germany, an executive told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday.
    
    AVEVA 
    A pack of European and American conglomerates are plotting bids for Aveva,
the British engineering software developer, the Sunday Times reported. Senior
City sources said Aveva is likely to be the next British company to fall into
the hands of an overseas suitor as Schneider Electric, the French
energy giant, America's GE, and Emerson, weigh approaches for the
company. Traders saw Aveva rising around 2 percent at the open.
    
    RIO TINTO 
    Global miner Rio Tinto plans to sell some of its aluminium assets in a
potential $1 billion deal, the Financial Times reported, reviving a sale plan
for its Pacific Aluminium unit two years after it was cancelled. 
    
    ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND 
    A U.S. judge on Friday ordered Nomura Holdings Inc and Royal Bank
of Scotland Group Plc to pay a collective $806 million for making false
statements in selling mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac. 
    
    BWIN.PARTY 
    British online gaming company 888 Holdings is to make a takeover
approach for rival Bwin.Party, the Sunday Times reported, raising the prospect
of a takeover battle between 888 and confirmed suitor GVC Holdings.
 
   
    LUFTHANSA 
    European air traffic labour groups including Germany's GdF meet in Brussels
to discuss whether to take industrial action to protest against cost cuts.
    
    RENAULT 
    Assembly lines at two Turkish car plants part-owned by European carmakers
Renault and Fiat remained at a standstill on Sunday as workers protested
employment conditions. 
    Separately, Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn said on Monday he did not think
there was any need to change the automaker's capital alliance with Renault at
present after France raised its stake and influence in Renault last month.
    
    
    KERING 
    A group of luxury goods makers sued Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N on
Friday, contending the Chinese online shopping giant had knowingly made it
possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world.
    
    
    UNIBAIL 
    French real estate group Unibail-Rodamco signed an agreement to sell a 46.1
percent stake in German shopping centre operator mfi AG to the Canada Pension
Plan Investment Board for 394 million euros ($450 million). 
    
    OSRAM 
    The lighting maker cannot guarantee there will be no job cuts during a
spin-off of its traditional business, although there as no concrete plans for
headcount reduction at present, chief executive Olaf Berlien told Sueddeutsche
Zeitung in an interview published on Monday. 
    
    BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA 
    The lender's upcoming rights issue will likely be priced at a discount of
between 35-40 percent, Il Messaggero said on Saturday, citing discussions among
banks working on the capital hike. The final decision on the discount is
expected to be taken at a board meeting on Thursday. 
    
    SYMRISE 
    The fragrances and flavours maker is looking at around 5-10 takeover
targets, CEO Heinz-Juergen Bertram said in an interview with paper Welt am
Sonntag. 
        
    UNICREDIT 
    The lender is looking for a partner to help manage 1.2 billion euros worth
of real estate loans, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Saturday. 
      
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0521 GMT:                                                LAST    PCT CHG    NET CHG
 S&P 500                                     2,122.73     0.08 %       1.63
 NIKKEI                                      19864.05     0.66 %     131.13
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                               506.47    -0.58 %      -2.98
 EUR/USD                                       1.1426    -0.18 %    -0.0021
 USD/JPY                                       119.65     0.32 %     0.3800
 10-YR US TSY YLD                               2.158         --       0.02
 10-YR BUND YLD                                 0.635         --       0.00
 SPOT GOLD                                  $1,223.95     0.09 %      $1.05
 US CRUDE                                      $59.94     0.42 %       0.25
 
  > Shares struggle after data raises more questions on U.S. economy 
  > Wall St drifts, S&P 500 ticks up to record 
  > Nikkei rises to 2-1/2-week high, insurers support; Dai-ichi soars 
  > TREASURIES-Yields drop as economic growth slows 
  > Dollar pushes higher but near lows after downbeat U.S. data 
  > Gold near 3-month high on sluggish U.S. data, dollar  
  > Copper steady as downbeat US data puts pressure on dollar 
  > Oil prices rise on Middle East fighting; OPEC output eyed 
    

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